World leaders urged to stop nature loss

30 September 2020

New York/Brussels, September 30 – World leaders will meet in New York today to stress the importance of the biodiversity crisis and call for an ambitious global plan to save nature.

EU Commission President von der Leyen will join heads of state in addressing the plenary, with the EU having signaled its support for "[stepping] up global ambition for biodiversity."

Friedrich Wulf, international biodiversity campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said: "Ten years ago, the UN agreed its last round of targets to save nature – but we have missed every single one, and the planet is nearing the point of no return. To stop total ecological collapse, we need more than just talk of ambition – among other things, we urgently need binding rules to stop big corporations from ripping the natural world apart, especially in the Global South."

Today's Summit is a key step towards agreeing a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The text will be adopted in May 2021 at the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference in China.

Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for a final deal to:

  • Tackle the root causes of biodiversity loss. The new global biodiversity framework needs to bring about systemic change in how the economy works. A key issue is stopping countries in the Global North exporting their ecological footprints to the biodiversity-rich regions of the Global South by international trade. The framework needs targets to reduce international pressure on ecosystems by establishing binding rules for corporations which oblige them to apply standards for biodiversity and human rights around the world.
  • Ensure it is implemented by governments. A new global biodiversity agreement can only call itself ambitious if it ensures that the goals set out in it are actually implemented by the individual states over the next decade. The EU has not achieved any of the goals of its biodiversity strategy 2010-2020, despite some progress.
  • Bring in the agricultural and energy ministries. Fighting the global biodiversity crisis cannot only be done by environmental agencies. Other key government ministries must also contribute.
  • Remove nature-harming subsidies. An agreement will only work if it does not contain incentives and subsidies which are harmful to biodiversity.
  • Protect the world's most important areas for species and habitats. 30% of the Earth's surface needs to be conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, such as territories managed by Indigenous peoples and local communities. Governments must recognise and uphold the traditional land rights of indigenous peoples to their territories across the world.

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