Nearly 200 countries adopt declaration on reversing biodiversity loss

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The international community has agreed in principle to intensify the fight against the dramatic and dangerous extinction of animal and plant species.

The nearly 200 countries that represented the UN Biodiversity Conference in China adopted on Wednesday the Kunming Declaration, named after the city where the conference is holding.

The talks, which is also taking place online, is focused on drafting a new global framework for protecting biodiversity, in a similar vein as the 2015 Paris Accord to tackle the climate crisis.

The declaration points out that many states are calling for 30 per cent of the globe’s land and sea areas to be placed under protection by 2030.

It says that there is grave concern about biodiversity loss, land degradation and desertification, marine damage and pollution, all of which “pose an existential threat to society, our culture, our prosperity and our planet.”

This week’s meeting, known as COP-15, is scheduled to be followed by more detailed negotiations in Switzerland in January, before a final strategy is adopted at an in-person meeting in Kunming from April 25 to 8.