Govts, businesses urged to take bold action for sustainable future

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the media during a visit to the UN office in the capital Nairobi, Kenya, May 3, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

UNITED NATIONS – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday implored governments and businesses worldwide to reinforce their commitment and take decisive steps towards building a sustainable future.

"Last year's agreement on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework marked an important step – but now is the time to move from agreement to action," the top UN official said in his video message for the International Day for Biological Diversity, which falls on May 22 annually.

"This means ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns, redirecting subsidies from nature-destroying activities towards green solutions, recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, the strongest guardians of our world's biodiversity, and pushing governments and businesses to take stronger and faster action against biodiversity loss and the climate crisis," he said.

Last year's agreement on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework marked an important step – but now is the time to move from agreement to action.

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General 

Guterres warned that human actions are devastating every corner of the planet and "1 million species" are at risk of extinction, the result of habitat degradation, skyrocketing pollution, and the worsening climate crisis.

He called on humanity to "end this war on nature."

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"Let us work together across governments, civil society, and the private sector to secure a sustainable future for all," said the UN chief.

The International Day for Biological Diversity is a United Nations-sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.

In this file photo taken on Aug 15, 2020, smoke rises from an illegally lit fire in Amazon rainforest reserve, south of Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil.

From its creation by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in 1993 to 2000, it was held on Dec 29 to celebrate the day the Convention on Biological Diversity went into effect. In December 2000, the date was shifted to commemorate the adoption of the convention on May 22, 1992, at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, and partly to avoid the many other holidays that occur in late December.

Although every biodiversity day carries its own special significance, this year's global celebrations bring with it a renewed sense of hope with the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

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To mark this achievement, this year's theme is "From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity." Now that the world has the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, the focus must quickly shift to its implementation, according to the United Nations.

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