SDG Media Zone: UNGA 75 | Why Protecting Nature Protects Us

SDG Media Zone: UNGA 75 | Why Protecting Nature Protects Us

[Music] welcome to the sdg media zone i’m paulina greer with me today is inger anderson she is the executive director of the un environment program welcome inger thank you it’s a pleasure to be here and we’re joined by elizabeth marama executive secretary of the un convention on biological diversity welcome elizabeth thank you very much good to be here now we’re meeting on the sidelines of the u.n general assembly ahead of a major biodiversity summit and we’re meeting obviously on zoom because of covid let me ask you first anger with everything that’s happening in the world why are we talking about biodiversity now well i’m sure that elizabeth will go into this in much greater detail but here we are right we have unsustainably produced and consumed our way into three planetary crisis the crisis of nature we’re losing species at a speed we’ve never seen before it last year said that we were about to lose a million species if we don’t take action the crisis of climate need i say more the secretary general summit last year called for action on climate and the crisis of pollution and waste that crisis may be not as visible to to those that have good uh systems for collection etc but very real and may be seen most uh to most in the public domain in the context of the plastic crisis but there’s much more than plastic so these three crises it’s us causing it not the other it’s us it’s the way we produce the way we consume so we need to have a a a hard look at that and one of the things we need to look at is obviously biodiversity that nature the nature that sustains us and gives us everything that we need from the clothes we wear to the water we drink to the food we eat i know and and so on and so forth so and this is happening in the middle of a pandemic a pandemic that is in part caused by our fragmentation of nature our illegal trade of species our mixing species that have no business being together it’s a zoonosis from the zoological world and so yes we need to have a conversation about nature which is why i’m so grateful to elizabeth for her leadership of the biological uh of the biodiversity convention because that’s where we need to strike some big agreements you had just mentioned it anger uh elizabeth let me let me bring you in because as inger had mentioned you are with the un convention on biological diversity and one of your jobs is to measure the variety of life in the world so how are we doing unfortunately we are not doing well but of course we need to acknowledge that some progress particularly based on actions taken by many governments many stakeholders there is some progress but by and large not doing good at all the covet situation just as inga said unfortunately has brought everything at four particularly highlighting the importance of our relationship between us people and nature and reminded us of the profound consequences of our well-being our own survival and our continued results of the loss of by divest and degradation of ecosystem the recent reports if we look particularly at the global biodiversity outlook uh recent one we are coming to the end of a decade of ih biodiversity target not one uh i.t target will be fully met so that by itself of the 20 targets 10 years we have failed yes we’ve made progress in about seats also about them but even the progress if you look at the scorecard like a school report the highest is below 30 percent of the progress so measuring even at that yes some progress but not at the magnitude that we should be delighted hopefully fingers crossed uh by the end of the year we may uh succeed to reach probably 80 by every by the western target 11 together with the sdg target 14.5 are both uh calling on 17 10 percent respectively of terrestrial and marine areas because now the percentage remaining is very small and we know many uh governments are really trying to get their data uh recorded the uh the global database so probably we might have good successes there but by and large we are not doing well and clearly as inga had said the bottom line the dangerous global species today is us human beings so we are talking of many species but the single most dangerous one is us human beings and human beings with all the activities we do whether it is food production it is food systems it’s uh our own human choices uh in terms of consumption uh the choices in terms of polluting the air polluting the environment with plastics so everything the dangerous uh the most dangerous species in the global today causing the unprecedented rate of biodiversity loss in the history of humankind leading to further degradation of the land of biodiversity and climate crisis let’s talk about the biodiversity summit the theme this year is urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development so i’d like to hear from both of you what type of action are you looking for at the summit but for us in the uh by a diverse community community key number one uh the fact that it is the summit at heads of state head of government it gives us ensures us that political will to take action and this is what uh we are seeing uh looking forward to the summit looking at the number of the heads of state and minister and governments ready to speak and i’m sure they will speak not supporting natural laws by divesting loss but underlining reasserting their commitment to protecting and conserving biodiversity in supporting sustainable development in particular the sustainable development goals because 11 of the 17 sdgs actually have biodiversity nature component in them so clearly conserving and protecting biodiversity 100 percent contributes to reaching a number of targets of the sustainable development goals so looking at those underlying the importance of the agenda and aligning the importance of also integrated holistic militarism nature of looking at issues not single issues its climate crisis land degradation crisis by a diversity crisis pollution crisis chemicals crisis so all these in an integrated version are also looking at further uh underlining the importance of mainstreaming these environmental biodiversity issues across all sectors of the economy at national level so again hall of government hall of society approach in looking at these issues we’re also also looking at uh renewed uh cause of support of an ambitious transformative global biodiversity framework which will take over from the uh ih biodiversity target and building uh upon learning lessons from that into really a transformative framework uh underlining particularly not just having a framework on paper but later its implementation on the ground and we hope then the summit will present that opportunity to member states to really lay out their support and explore these issues which will be negotiated and more so really demonstrate that link between biodiversity nature issues all environmental issues all of which are also sustainable development goals issues you cannot deal with any of the sustainable development issues the 17 where you will say is not an important factor be it poverty elevation be equity equality be it education consumption and production patterns beat life on land life on water partnerships just mention any it has major component of environment on it and we come back human beings and our actions will make a difference in future and these are those commitments political will at the highest level of government hope will here come 30th september if the summit was happening in person who would be the top person or entity on your list who is the first person or entity that you would want to speak to you’re putting me on the spot but being a summit organized by the united nations of course and being also part of the un family i’ll be very interested to hear what our boss will say to the global community that will be number one and then after that we’ll be really interested to hear uh statements from the current president of the conference of the party and the next president of the conference of the party so egypt and the jannah from egypt to china since china will take us forward then after that of course all governments regionally represented so that we get the views of all uh different sectors of different uh uh different governments because each country is different the national circumstances are different priorities also may be different much we all agree biodiversity nature is important but still all these need to be aligned with the national circumstances so it’s important to also hear all of them to really get all the nuances the potentials uh moving forward maybe just to add because i know elizabeth has worked hard to ensure that that also happens the voice of youth the next generation she’s actually secured a speaker so i know that but that’s really important just like in the climate movement and in the climate action summit we saw that the energy that the young people bring in into the room onto the street over dinner tables back at home into the classroom and eventually into the voting booth that is an energy that we want to see also for nature and biodiversity and then not to forget um the voice of indigenous people indigenous people are probably the best stewards of nature and that voice in the un and beyond is irrepressible and critical and so ensuring that that voice is understood and and heard and respected indigenous people as environmental defenders indigenous people are stewards of biodiversity and indigenous peoples of holders of knowledge that we can all learn from and study and finally we want to hear from private sector because we need to understand that much of the not that i want to put blame but i want to put responsibility on private sector i said before we all eat so we all have to understand that eating is important but our agricultural practices need to change for the better and so that means that big agriculture has a has a to-do item on its list in terms of how we do that and policy makers have a to-do item in helping them shift and today our our our incentives and our subsidies are not necessarily going in the direction that we would like to see agricultural subsidies go so how do we subsidize nature positive agriculture so these are the kind of voices that we hope will come up but as elizabeth said the most important voice is strong commitments in the mouths of heads of state because as she’s journeying to her cop having the heads of state make strong pronouncements in front of the world be it virtual or not that’s immaterial really matters because she said they are not going to say we will continue a path of destruction they are going to say we will get on a path of sustainable sustainability and that’s what we look forward to hearing you had both mentioned the cop and china so next year in china there will be a u.n biodiversity conference and at that point countries are expected to adopt a new framework that will represent global commitments to put nature on a path to recovery by 2030. i should add elizabeth we’ve spoken about the summit that will happen here but where are we with that framework that’s coming out next year good question where are we currently the world is looking at an updated zero draft which is out there for public review it is not yet negotiated uh it has been negotiated yet only in one meeting the next meeting will come next year but uh during this period is period of review period of informal consultations period of raising awareness and period of receiving as more and much input to it as the reviewers all stakeholders uh can give particularly to their co-chairs so as to up with uh a proper 1.0 draft for the next formal negotiation meeting however when one looks at it uh yes one it is the goals are aligned to 2030 agenda and we know 20 30 agenda is also our 23 sdgs as i was indicated earlier by diversity is a bigger component of the content of the sdgs as we have so that alignment is very critical that uh countries will see not an added action but actually what they are doing they are also contributing to implementation uh of both not just the framework when it is adopted but also our commitments to the sustainable development goals so uh the the draft already provides the goals uh hopefully smart targets is expected simple language uh clear and more so it builds from the lessons learned from uh the i will say port and port failures of the iit targets for instance uh the framework will have a strong monitoring component and review mechanism coming up with it to be able to take a global stock taking an enhanced national review to really track progress during implementation and of course uh it includes already a set of uh really using 2030 as milestone to as progress towards reaching our long-term goal of living in harmony with nature the framework again learning from the ih biodiversity target will be accompanied uh by a resource mobilization capacity building science technology transfer knowledge management communication strategy all these which had not been considered as important implementation tools during the ih biodiversity target and we hope also when it is adopted that there will be no time lag to begin implementation during h by a diversity target for many countries it took few years before actual implementation began because a number of countries began with putting in place the national strategies and action plans for implementation now that they’re in place we are not calling for inverting the will so basically implementation should be able to begin immediately and even if there are any other adjustments those could be done in tandem as implementation uh continues so we hope these lessons uh learned from the 80 targets being built into this framework and underlining that the framework is not for governments alone this was the assumption with the h by divested targets but the framework will be for everybody universally applicable and that’s why again it’s important at national level that it will be it is mainstreamed into again the whole of society hall of government approach in an integrated holistic manner so i’d just like to give you both an opportunity to have a final word what is important is we will have the summit a platform to underline the importance of biodiversity a road map leading to cop15 cop 15 which we hope will adopt the new post 20 uh uh post 2020 global biodiversity framework so what we’ll be calling is really action action now we have no time to wait by a diverse delos nature loss is at an unprecedented level in the history of mankind we all know as we’ve said solutions are known many tools are there the understanding and awareness now has grown than ever before that we even have all manners all stakeholders talking about nature talking about biodiversity the banks the finance the business private sector indigenous people local communities they use individual you and me so really action should begin we should continue intangible transformative innovative actions without any further delay what i would add here is um it’s probably time for reflection what it really is we’re doing right what it is that we’re doing to our planet this is zoom out into the universe and look into that little blue speck that little tiny blue speck that is our only home and understand that as elizabeth said this one species is about to cause its fundamental shift that power that we are holding as humanity that power that we can actually change the very fundamentals of planet earth time and memorial in terms of evolution the stability of our climate the fact that we know this science tells us this pandemics is showing us this it’s time for action and understanding therefore that the heads of state now what they will say will really matter because future generations will judge them were they going to be the leaders what we going to be the citizens where we going to be the leaders that stood and let species and nature disappear so that your grandchild or mine will not see that magnificent animal or that inc incredible flower or all the very being of ecosystem that supports us it’s not small it’s very very big because it is the future of food security because it is the future of peace because it is the future of humanity as we understand it so yes we are living in a moment where from our pockets from taxpayers pockets we are seeing and never before streams of funding going into the private sector to boost it that’s good because we want to save jobs but we have an obligation to absolutely make sure that these funds do not go into persevering our destructive path we have an obligation to ensure that these funds shift us onto sustainability that’s a conversation and so i think this is what we’re trying to do and each in our way and we from unemp and together with obviously the executive secretary from cbd we are pushing as hard as we can to make us land where we need to for sustainability in the long run inger anderson elizabeth thank you for speaking with me in the sdg media zone [Music]
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SDG Media Zone: UNGA 75 | Why Protecting Nature Protects Us

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