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Ministry of Ecology and Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Co-host Ministerial Online Roundtable Biodiversity Beyond 2020: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth

2020/09/25

On 24th September, 2020, Biodiversity Beyond 2020: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth Ministerial Roundtable was co-hosted virtually in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. Minister of Ecology and Environment, Mr. Huang Runqiu and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Luo Zhaohui attended and delivered opening remarks. The meeting was chaired by Minister Huang Runqiu. Ministers from 17 countries participated in the Ministerial Roundtable virtually or via video messages, including Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, European Union, France, Germany, India, Italy,Japan, Maldives, Mexico, Norway, Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia,South Africa and United Kingdom. Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E.Liu Zhenmin and high-level representatives from relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations, including United Nations Environment Programme, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services(IPBES), International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) and Global Youth Biodiversity Network also attended the meeting. Under the theme of Biodiversity Beyond 2020: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth, participants conducted in-depth dialogues on biodiversity and sustainable development, as well as global governance for post-2020 biodiversity conservation. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge to the world. All parties reiterated the significance of upholding multilateralism and enhancing solidarity in this special context, and emphasized the urgent need to take prompt actions within the multilateral framework to strengthen biodiversity conservation, and promote the resilient recovery post-epidemic. Ministers and representatives viewed the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity and the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) as great opportunities to mainstream the biodiversity conservation and provide strong impetus for sustainable development.

Huang Runqiu stressed that, biodiversity is the foundation of human survival and development. Mankind is a community of shared future, and should work together to keep the health of the Earth. The Chinese government attaches great importance to biodiversity conservation, and put it as a main aspect in advancing ecological civilization and high-quality development. Guided by the philosophy of ecological civilization, Chinese government has carried out such practices as 'the lucid water and lush mountains are invaluable assets' and has fully mobilized the non-governmental organizations and the public, greatly contributing to the global endeavor for biodiversity conservation. As the host of COP15, China has paid close attention to its preparation work. We expect all parties to demonstrate ambitions, mobilize resources and take actions for the common benefit of all mankind, and advance the formulation and implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, effectively reversing the biodiversity loss trend.

Luo Zhaohui pointed out that, China will attend the UN Summit on Biodiversity in its capacity as the host of COP15,discussing global biodiversity governance in a post-epidemic era. While advocating ecological civilization and working actively to build a beautiful country, China has made unremitting efforts to build a shared future for all life on earth and a beautiful world under the auspices of the United Nations. On 22nd September, President Xi Jinping announced in his statement at the General Debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly that China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting more vigorous policies and measures and that it aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. With a high sense of responsibility for history, people and the world, China will effectively implement Paris Agreement,advance ecological civilization, uphold multilateralism,pursue green development and seek win-win cooperation. China will promote the adoption of an ambitious and pragmatic Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on COP15, and march towards the new journey of the 2050 vision of "Living in Harmony with Nature" with all parties.

Liu Zhenmin stressed that, 2020 is envisaged as the Super Year of Nature, and marks the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Recent-released Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 has warned that none of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets will be fully met, which in turn, threatens the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Urgent action to preserve biodiversity, accelerate implementation of SDGs and shift onto a sustainable path, is the only way forward. The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework should align itself with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ,the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Strategic Plan for Forests. It should foster the transformational change, mobilize global actions to address the root causes of the biodiversity loss, and enhance its implementation.

In the Ministerial Dialogue I Ecological Civilization: Sustainable Development Empowered by Biodiversity, ministers shared their respective best practices and experiences at national and regional levels. Ministers recognized that biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, as well as the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, provide basic guarantees and stronger impetus for implementation of SDGs, including poverty reduction, job creation, food security, the enhancement of health and disaster prevention and mitigation. The realization of SDGs also contributes to improve and enhance the effectiveness of biological conservation. All parties acknowledged the necessity of integrating the biological work into its sustainable development strategy after the epidemic.

In the Ministerial Dialogu II Towards Kunming: Strengthen Global Governance for Post-2020 Biodiversity Conservation, representatives highly appreciated China's efforts and leadership in preparing for the COP15 and expressed their willingness to work with China for an open, transparent and party-driven process. They will participate in the negotiation of Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework actively and constructively, strengthen dialogues, move in the same direction, and take the concerns of developing countries into consideration, jointly promoting the adoption of the Framework and demonstrating to the international community their determinations for biodiversity conservation and the power of multilateralism .

Participants thanked China for organizing this Ministerial Roundtable which provided a platform for a candid dialogue, before the upcoming UN Summit on Biodiversity. It is expected China, as the host and incoming presidency of COP15, will continue to play an active role in the future.

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