To land call for action on biodiversity with ‘Kunming statement’

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech over the COP15 summit over biodiversity in Kunming, China October 12, 2021. SECRETARIAT OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY/Hand-out via REUTERS

  • Statement insists countries to take quick action on loss of species
  • China’s willingness to protect 30% of his country still in question
  • Statement marred by quarrel over language

KUNMING, China, Oct. 13 (Reuters) – Over 100 countries committed on Wednesday at the protection of habitats in the heart of their government decision-make but they stopped short of commit to specific goals to curb mass extinctions.

The Chinese minister of Environment Huang Runqiu told delegates to a UN biodiversity conference: in the city of Kunming that the statement die they assumed a document was of political will not binding international agreement.

Kunming’s statement exclaims: for “urgent and integrated action” to take into account met biodiversity considerations in all sectors of the global economy but crucial issues – like financing maintenance in poorer countries and committed to biodiversity-friendly supply chains – being left to discuss later.

With the loss of plant and animal species now the fastest rate in For 10 million years, politicians, scientists and experts have been trying to lay the foundations for An new pact on to save biodiversity.

In a previously signed agreement in aichi, japan, in 2010, governments agreed on 20 goals to slow biodiversity loss and protect habitats by 2020, but none of die goals were: met.

In the heart of attempts to rescue nature is a call by the United Nations for countries protect and preserve 30% of their territory by 2030 – a target die known as ’30 by 30′, which the conference acknowledged although it wasn’t clear in how much host China supported it.

“The explanation made a reference to the ’30 by 30′ target, but did not specify of Beijing that is on board with the of not,” said Li Shuo, senior climate advisor with environment group Green Peace.

A 30% commitment could: prove too many for country-stressed China, which has nearly 10,000 . has nature reserves die 18% cover of his territory.

“There are academics who say they think 24%, 25% might be reasonable, but even getting to 18% was challenging, so 30% could be difficult,” said Alice Hughes, a conservation biologist die attended the talks on On behalf of of the in Beijing-based China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation.

AN one-size fits all purpose would also be inappropriate for countries like Indonesia and Brazil, where 30% goal would actually allow more deforestation, they added.

Elizabeth Mrema, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological diversity, played down the importance of the adoption of the specific 30% target.

“We need to hold in remember we need to concentrate on biodiversity results in instead of spatial areashe told Reuters.


Apart from the question of goals for conservation, some activists have complained that disagreements over the wording of the statement had distracted delegates’ attention when urgent action was needed.

AN first drought of the statement, released in August, including associated political slogans with Chinese President Xi Jinping, die caused tension and underlines what some critics said was China’s inexperience in pastoral international agreements to and met closure.

After feedback from more than 40 countriesXi’s slogan “clear waters and lush mountains” was: removed from the text, although the Chinese concept of “ecological civilization” was preserved.

There were complaints met especially from Japan, that China had pushed through the statement without sufficient discussion, known sources with the situation told Reuters.

“Basically, they felt that there had been insufficient time for consultation on some of the statements,” said Hughes.

Huang told delegates China had followed the same procedures die were used to adopt previous biodiversity agreements.

Li said it was just a question though of China the experience until drive through a new pact during a second phase of talk next year.

“U.S global biodiversity crisis is urgent, but so far the Convention on Biological diversity progress has been too slow,” he said.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Edwina Gibbs, Robert Birsel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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