Countries should adopt robust measures to halt the loss of biodiversity that has accelerated amid climate change and unsustainable practices linked to rapid urbanization, a senior UN official said on Saturday.
Cristiana Pasca Palmer, executive secretary of the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) said that enhanced conservation of biodiversity should inform global efforts to eradicate poverty, hunger and disease.
Palmer spoke at the end of an international summit in Nairobi that brought together policymakers, scientists and campaigners to kick start negotiations on a new framework to strengthen biodiversity conservation.
Kenya hosted the UN Convention on Biological Diversity first Open-Ended Working Group that commenced negotiations towards the establishment of a new framework to boost protection of nature’s assets.
The new biodiversity protection framework is expected to be adopted by 196 parties to the UN CBD during a conference slated for October 2020 in Kunming, China.
The UN official said there is an urgency to come up with a new multilateral agreement to promote conservation of biodiversity as a means to achieve sustainable development.
"As a global society, we need to mainstream biodiversity considerations into all sectors, including our governance structures, production and consumption systems, and values to achieve sustainable development and live in harmony with nature,” said Palmer.
She said the UN is working with key stakeholders like governments, industry, civil society, indigenous people, women and youth to revitalize the global biodiversity conservation agenda.
Palmer said that strategic interventions like capacity building, awareness and enforcement of laws, are required to halt the loss of biodiversity due to irresponsible human actions.
Palmer said that multilateral institutions will rally behind efforts to strengthen protection of biodiversity hotspots in Africa.