UN: There’s need to transform approach to climate change, biodiversity

UN: There’s need to transform approach to climate change, biodiversity
May 24
19:29 2023

Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has called on nations to transform their approach to climate change and biodiversity.

In a message to mark the international day for Biological diversity on Monday, Stiell said that there was a need to create climate-smart biodiversity policies and more efficient allocation of resources.

The executive secretary said humans and nature were at risk, adding that efforts should be made to support and maintain healthy biodiversity, as well as protection of the ecosystems.

“As we mark this year’s international day for biological diversity, we acknowledge the intrinsic connection between biodiversity and climate change,” he said.


“The relationship is cyclical: a stable climate is a foundation for healthy and thriving biodiversity, which is critical to stabilize the climate system and ensure the long-term well-being of all, including nature and future generations.

“Nature, agriculture and human development and society – all linked, all at risk, all part of a self-reinforcing cycle.

“The parent conventions of the Paris agreement and the Kunming-Montreal global biodiversity framework are sisters, two of three conventions meant to safeguard the liveability of the planet.


“The Paris agreement notes the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans, and the protection of biodiversity, recognized by some cultures as mother earth.

“Actions to meet the goals of the Paris agreement must reinforce the Kunming-Montreal global biodiversity framework, for example, ensuring that measures to tackle emissions such as planting trees also support efforts to maintain and enrich biodiversity.

“Likewise, efforts to implement the framework must strengthen the fight against negative climate change impacts.

“We have opportunities to transform the global approach to climate change and biodiversity and build mutual support. We can create climate-smart biodiversity policies and efficient resource allocation.


“We can optimize co-benefits and synergies of finance targeting the biodiversity and climate crises – one of the specific targets of the Kunming-Montreal global biodiversity framework.

“We actively work with indigenous peoples and local communities, nature’s caregivers. It is more widely recognised than ever that the global community benefits by bringing their values and knowledge systems into collective efforts to stabilize the climate system and reverse biodiversity decline.

“We know we can do much more and we need to do much more. The latest IPCC report warned that without urgent, effective and equitable mitigation and adaptation, climate change would increasingly threaten ecosystems, biodiversity, and the livelihoods, health and wellbeing of current and future generations.”

Stiell said strengthening mitigation and adaptation plans to build resilience is part of the major topics to be addressed at this year’s COP28.


“Together, we can set ourselves on a path to build a resilient future where all life thrives,” he added. 


This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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