Global environmental officials discuss biodiversity at COP15 roundtable

2021-10-13 00:36:29

Photo taken on Oct. 11, 2021 shows the opening ceremony of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

KUNMING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Environmental officials from nearly 20 countries, as well as the European Union, attended a roundtable on "Putting Biodiversity on a Path of Recovery", both in person and virtually, on Tuesday at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Yasmine Fouad, environment minister of Egypt, and Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, as co-chairs of the two-hour session, discussed with their global peers how to protect, restore and sustainably use biodiversity.

"Protecting and restoring biodiversity is the key and foundation for solving all issues, including climate, health, food and water security and sustainable development," stressed Zhao at the opening. "To restore and realize biological diversity is an urgent task, and mankind must immediately make historic, transformational and overarching changes."

In the introductory speech, Wei Fuwen, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said China has achieved remarkable results in the protection of endangered species, ecosystem restoration and other areas, contributing Chinese wisdom and solutions to the international community's response to corresponding challenges.

"We must place species and ecosystems, as key elements of biodiversity and human well-being, at the foundation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework," said Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg Minister for Environment.

"We know that climate change is exerting additional stress on our cities, so we need to find strategies for mitigation. Biodiversity offers wonderful tools," Minister Celine Caron-Dagioni of Monaco said.

"An approach that focuses on the lowest common denominator will not suffice," said European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius.

Representatives from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Germany, Greece and other countries also introduced their practices and achievements on various issues such as ocean protection and wildlife conservation.