Event series to focus on biodiversity

By HOU LIQIANG| China Daily| Updated: September 27, 2021

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Floral decorations are seen in Kunming, Yunnan province, on Sept 26, 2021, as the city is ready to host the COP 15 United Nations biodiversity conference. [Photo/IC]

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment will hold a series of publicity events on biodiversity conservation in the lead-up to the two phases of the COP 15 United Nations biodiversity conference, hoping to spur greater public participation in preventing biodiversity loss and the global endeavor to build a shared future for all life on Earth.

The biggest UN biodiversity summit in a decade, COP 15 is tasked with elaborating on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and identifying protection goals through 2030.

"Biodiversity loss and the effort to cope with it are vital to human society's sustainable development," Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu said at the launch ceremony for the events in Beijing on Sunday.

According to some research, an eighth of the world's 8 million species are in danger of extinction because of human activities. The average speed of species extinction is tens of thousands of times faster than it was 10 million years ago, Huang said.

"Faced with the global environmental challenge, we must deeply reflect on our relationship with nature," he said.

Huang called on people to make use of the opportunities provided by the events to promote Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization, and to introduce China's solution and wisdom in environmental governance.

Ecological civilization is a concept promoted by President Xi for balanced and sustainable development that features harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature.

The ministry said the publicity events will run through April. Aside from exhibitions and short videos on biodiversity, there will also be a movie week with the theme of ecological conservation.

"The theme of your campaign-'a diverse world, a thriving world'-reflects the vision and mission of the convention. And this is a strong message to send to the world," said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, via video link.

The health, wealth and well-being of people are based on genetic diversity, the richness of species and the majesty of ecosystems on our planet, she said.

Mrema said a sustainable future needs all people, businesses, organizations and governments to take actions to conserve biodiversity and use it sustainably.

"It is obvious to me that China and the world are ready to be ambitious and to lead transformative change," she said.

The ministry said Mrema and four of her secretariat colleagues will visit Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, for the first phase of COP 15 next month. Most other overseas participants will join via video links.

After the opening ceremony on Oct 11, there will be a leaders' summit and a ministerial-level meeting in the next two days. An ecological civilization themed forum will be held from Oct 14 to 15.

Parties will meet in Kunming during the second phase of the gathering next year to negotiate the targets for the global biodiversity framework.