22 May 2023, UN: Message from UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell on the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity
Dear colleagues and friends,
As we mark this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, we acknowledge the intrinsic connection between biodiversity and climate change.
The relationship is cyclical: a stable climate is the foundation for healthy and thriving biodiversity, which is critical to stabilize the climate system and ensure the long-term wellbeing 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 between National Adaptation Plans and National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans.
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.
The UNFCCC’s processes already contribute to implementing the Framework.
The strategic workstream on non-economic losses under the Warsaw International Mechanism underscores the interdependence between climate change and biodiversity; among the loss and damage discussions under the UNFCCC is the need for an integrated approach to tackle the loss of biodiversity from climate change.
We actively work with Indigenous peoples and local communities, nature’s caregivers, under the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform. 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.
One of the key topics for this year’s COP28 will be to take stock of where we are with regards to mitigation, adaptation and their means of implementation in line with the goals and objectives of the Paris Agreement.
And biodiversity is among the themes that Parties to the Paris Agreement agreed to consider in crafting a global goal on adaptation.
As we strive to achieve our global climate goals and live in harmony with nature, let us take concrete and collective actions, including:
- Strengthening cooperation among Parties, indigenous peoples, local communities, and other relevant entities to stabilize the climate system and reverse biodiversity decline;
- Fostering mindset change to restore and maintain the health of all ecosystems in a timely and culturally appropriate manner;
- Engaging diverse knowledge systems and practices, including that of the indigenous peoples to transform the global approach to climate change and biodiversity.
Together, we can set ourselves on a path to build a resilient future where all life thrives.
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