Environment ministers, agencies stress multilateralism, cooperation on biodiversity conservation amid COVID-19 pandemic

A giant panda is seen at the Qinling research center of giant panda breeding in Zhouzhi County, northwest China‘s Shaanxi Province, Sept. 23, 2020. The center undertakes the tasks including field rescue, disease control, species breeding and nutrition research in feeding, that are specific to giant pandas living in Qinling Mountains. A total of 31 giant pandas live in the center at present and are taken care of by over 20 full-time feeders. (Xinhua/Liu Xiao)

 China‘s minister of environment and ecology called on the world to work together to mobilize resources for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use during an online round table conference on biodiversity, on Thursday.

Environment ministers from 17 countries participated in the conference titled “Biodiversity Beyond 2020: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth.” Ministers representing China, Russia, South Korea, Brazil and other countries, along with officials from the UN and other international organizations and diplomats, discussed and shared opinions on biodiversity and sustainable development, and global governing.

Huang Runqiu, Chinese minister of environment and ecology, emphasized in the opening speech that in the face of global crises and challenges, all people belong to a community with a shared future. Only by upholding the harmonious coexistence between people and nature and strengthening cooperation in the protection of global biodiversity can people seek sustainable development.

Faced with unprecedented challenges such as the loss of biodiversity, climate change and marine pollution, the international community must work together to respond to it, accelerate the formation of green development methods and lifestyles, and build an ecological civilization and a beautiful planet, Huang said.

China aims to have carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Tuesday at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly via a video link.

China calls on all parties to jointly take the common interests of all people as the starting point, work together to mobilize resources for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use and actively participate in the formulation process of the framework to promote related issues in the world, Huang said.

According to Huang, from 2009 to 2019, the afforestation area in China reached 703,900 square kilometers, the largest in the world. 

On Alipay‘s internet platform the “Ant Forest,”500 million Chinese have contributed enough funds over the past three years to plant 122 million trees that have reduced carbon emissions by 7.92 million tons, he said.

Luo Zhaohui, China‘s vice minister of foreign affairs, said that China firmly supports the construction of a multilateral governance system, advocates winning cooperation, and using action and Chinese wisdom to promote the stability and long-term development of global ecological civilization.

Participants stressed the need for international cooperation and multilateralism in biodiversity conservation, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nuritdin Inamov, director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, called on that all parties to raise their responsibilities, transparency and sharing of information in order to realize the Version 2050.

Meanwhile, Shinjiro Koizumi, minister of Environment of Japan, called for global cooperation to prevent the invasion of alien species in local biospheres.

The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversitywill be held in Kunming, Southwest China‘s Yunnan Province in May 2021. The theme of the conference is “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth.


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