Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction: Antonio Guterres at COP15


NEW DELHI: With representatives of over 190 countries gathering in Montreal to take a final call on post-2020 global biodiversity framework, the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged them to deliver an ambitious deal — a peace pact with nature — for a better, greener, bluer and more sustainable world.
“With our bottomless appetite for unchecked and unequal economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction. We are treating nature like a toilet. And ultimately, we are committing suicide by proxy,” said Guterres while addressing the participants at the opening of the 15th session of the UN biodiversity conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada.
The countries’ negotiators will during the next 13 days will brainstorm on the framework, earmarking post-2020 actions that could help in stopping biodiversity loss. Access and benefit sharing is one of the goals of the framework that would work on the premise that the biotech, pharmaceutical and other industries that use biodiversity must share the benefits equitably with communities.
Besides raising critical issues of finance to address challenges posed by the biodiversity loss, India along with over 100other countries during the conference will also push for a global goal to protect at least 30% of the planet by 2030 — called the ‘30×30 Target’ — under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Environment minister Bhupender Yadav will attend the segment of the COP15 next week.
Noting how the ecosystem degradation is causing an estimated $3 trillion annual losses by 2030, Guterres said, “Multinational corporations are filling their bank accounts while emptying our world of its natural gifts. Ecosystems have become playthings of profit. . . This conference is our chance to stop this orgy of destruction. . . We need nothing less from this meeting than a bold post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. ”


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