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Biodiversity’s role in underpinning development


   According to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, biodiversity and the ecosystem services it supports are the foundations for life on Earth and the livelihoods and well-being of people everywhere. He said in his message that protecting biodiversity and preventing further losses is an essential investment in our collective future. He urged all Governments and stakeholders to preserve and sustainably manage the variety of life on Earth for the benefit of current and future generations. In his message, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted that biodiversity is an important cross-cutting issue in the message marking the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Loss of biodiversity affects to sectors, including agriculture, fisheries, forestry

   In addition, he noted that Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 explicitly recognizes the importance of halting biodiversity loss, and other SDGs recognize the importance of biological diversity for eradicating poverty, providing food and fresh water, and improving life in cities.

   Mr. Ban Ki-moon noted that despite numerous commitments, biodiversity loss continues to accelerate in all regions. Only 15 percent of countries are on track to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets by the agreed-upon date of 2020. He said that the anticipated expansion of sectors that both depend on and affect biodiversity - including agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture - will pose a significant challenge to halting biodiversity loss in the coming decades.

   Reversing these trends will require action by all sectors and stakeholders, from UN Member States and agencies to civil society, academia and business. Mr. Ban Ki-moon also emphasized that the responsible use of natural resources is essential to sustainable development, as mainstreaming biodiversity will ensure that addressing development needs and protecting the environment are mutually supportive. Preserving biological diversity is a vital part of our compact with each other and the planet.

   According to Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner while marvel at iconic species in other parts of the world and on our digital screens, such as elephants, tigers and pandas, many of us are much less familiar with the sheer magnitude of diversity of plants and animals on this planet or the habitats that support them. He said that awareness about current global challenge of biodiversity loss is also low - a challenge that will expand along with the sectors affecting biodiversity, such as agriculture or forestry.  The indirect and direct drivers of biodiversity loss requires a focus on primary sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture.

   These sectors both impact biodiversity and are dependent on biodiversity. The demand for the goods and services produced by these sectors is projected to increase over the coming decades as a result of population growth, increasing average wealth, and other demographic changes. That demand for food, wood, water and energy is projected to increase 1.5 to two times by 2050 due to increasing population and average wealth, with a concomitant and negative effect on biodiversity.

   Therefore, mainstreaming biodiversity considerations across these sectors is essential in ensuring not only the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity but also the continued vitality of these sectors.

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