The rich variety of life on Earth is essential for the welfare and prosperity of people today and for generations to come. That is why, 25 years ago, the world’s nations agreed on the Convention for Biological Diversity. The Convention has three goals: the global conservation of biodiversity; its sustainable use; and the equitable sharing of its benefits. Achieving these objectives is integral to meeting our goals for sustainable development.
Protecting and restoring ecosystems and ensuring access to ecosystem services are necessary for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Reducing deforestation and land degradation and enhancing carbon stocks in forests, drylands, rangelands and croplands are needed for mitigating climate change. And protecting the biodiversity of forests and watersheds supports clean and plentiful water supplies.
These are just some of the benefits of biodiversity. Yet, despite this understanding, biodiversity loss continues around the globe. The answer is to intensify efforts and build on successes.
This year, parties to the Convention will begin work on a new action plan to ensure that, by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used for the benefit of all people. The entire world needs to join this effort. On this International Day for Biological Diversity, I urge Governments, businesses and people everywhere to act to protect the nature that sustains us. Our collective future depends on it.