UN: Countries, including Nigeria, must step up commitments to biodiversity targets

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Leadership Newspaper, Cancun, Mexico

The United Nations has charged the over 196 member nations, including Nigeria, that are signatory to its 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity reached in Rio de Janeiro must step up efforts against the loss of biodiversity and protect the ecosystems.

The member states are expected at this month's 13th Conference of Parties at the UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancún, Mexico, for two weeks of deliberation on the best possible strategies to protect biological diversity.

Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, in a statement ahead of the meeting noted that parties must exhibit improved commitment and conscious efforts to protect agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism.

According to the statement, data and reports indicate that about two-thirds of the global biodiversity targets are currently not on track to meet the 2020 deadline.

“If we are going to save biodiversity, we need to work with these sectors that depend on biodiversity and whose activities have a considerable impact on the variety of life on our planet. Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism are important sectors whose activities need to take biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into account in a coherent manner,” he said.

Over 120 ministers of environment, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism are already registered to attend the conference, essentially to discuss the mainstreaming of biodiversity into their activities by ensuring the alignment of wider government policies, programmes and plans consistent with the need to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity.

The convention is aimed at conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its biodiversity components, as well as fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

This article also appeared in Liberty Times.