World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Biodiversity Loss A Threat To Economic Development

Ban Ki-moon: loss of biodiversity threatens economic development

28 May 2008 - The loss of biodiversity affects not just the environment, but also has significant consequences for the economy and development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

"Nature's assets underpin the very lives and livelihoods of more than six billion people. They make our very existence possible in the vacuum of space," Mr. Ban said in a statement, delivered by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, to a major conference on biological diversity which kicked off today in Bonn, Germany.

He stressed that inaction on the issue will jeopardize progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, as well as impact the entire world.

"Now the economics are coming to the fore, underlining the costs of degradation but also the abundant returns if we invest in this bottom green line," the Secretary-General observed.

In spite of progress, with more than 12 per cent of land now in protected areas, the speed of response has not kept pace with the scale of degradation, he said.

Mr. Ban pointed to the increased need to preserve natural assets to provide protection against climatic events, such as Cyclone Nargis, which devastated Myanmar earlier this month. "Half the country's mangroves - its natural sea defenses - have been cleared over the past 30 years," he said, adding that this made communities more vulnerably to the deadly storm.

Also addressing the three-day meeting - attended by the leaders of Germany, Canada and Palau, together with 87 ministers - was General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim, who noted that "the world is now facing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity."

He said that four species or sub-species are lost every hour, while 20 hectares of forests disappear every minute and forests covering an area four times the size of Belgium are lost annually.

Mr. Kerim underscored that if "we conserve biodiversity, we preserve our chances of developing sustainably and of living healthy lives even as the climate changes."

As part of the International Year for Biodiversity in 2010, he voiced his support for the convening of a one-day high-level segment of the General Assembly to allow the international community to focus global attention on the biodiversity crisis.

"We have seen in various instances that leadership at the highest level is required to move issues forward," the Assembly President pointed out.

Participants at the high-level conference are discussing measures on how to meet the globally-agreed target of substantially reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss by 2010. They are examining such issues as the expansion of expanding protected areas, developing a system for fairly accessing and sharing the world's biodiversity wealth, the sustainable use of biofuels and the protection of the world's forests and marine areas.

On the sidelines of this meeting, Mr. Kerim met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the two conferred on current UN steps to combat climate change and reform the world body, including modifying the Security Council.

Biodiversity and global warming were also discussed during his meeting this morning with German Environmental Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

From Germany, the Assembly President will travel tonight to Albania's capital Tirana, where he will meet tomorrow with the South-East European nation's President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and Foreign Ministry officials. He is also scheduled to meet with the UN country team in Albania, which is one of the eight pilot countries of the "One UN" programme, which seeks to better coordinate UN operations and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by establishing a joint office for UN development agencies.

ENDS

Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC