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Executive secretaries of UN commissions issue joint statement to enshrine biodiversity protection in all their activities

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The world’s biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate, with one million animal and plant species now threatened with extinction

Biodiversity and ecosystem services are of critical importance in underpinning the fight against poverty, supporting inclusive sustainable economic growth, ensuring food security and food sovereignty, and supporting implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

At the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-15), UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova presented a joint statement of the UN regional commissions’ executive secretaries, committing to mainstream biodiversity in their policies, programmes and operations. 

“As regional commissions, we have a shared responsibility and the means to contribute to stop the loss of biodiversity on the planet,” said Ms. Algayerova. “With this joint statement, we the executive secretaries of the five UN regional commissions, express our determination to act together to support member states’ efforts to implement SDG 15 of the 2030 Agenda to 'protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss'. We owe this to the next generations.” 

In their statement, the executive secretaries stress the importance of enhancing cooperation and coordination at all levels, in particular at the regional level, in the protection of biodiversity through the implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.  

With their understanding of regional and national needs and unique convening role, regional commissions serve as platforms from which governments can translate global decisions into practical national actions. They also assist governments to mainstream biodiversity into national legislation, policies and business practices, and to mobilize adequate financing. Although there are common global drivers for biodiversity loss, each region faces unique challenges, requiring tailor-made solutions. The UN regional commissions can offer foundations for these solutions.  

Pursuing the goal of enhanced global biodiversity, the executive secretaries commit to:  

  • Mainstreaming biodiversity in our societies, economies, and institutions; 

  • Developing policy frameworks that secure the right to safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environments; 

  • Fostering collaboration and dialogue within and between regions to address biodiversity-related challenges; 

  • Strengthening the capacity of member states to mobilize investments; 

  • Identifying opportunities for internal policy alignment and coherence. 

The joint statement is available here: Statement of the Executive Secretaries of the regional commissions


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