Your Excellency Minister Huang, Your Excellency Minister Guilbeault, Vice Minister Zhao Yingmin, Dear Elizabeth, colleagues and friends,
My huge thanks to China and Canada for their respective roles in bringing us to Montreal to agree on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. As we have heard many times during this conference of the parties, this deal for nature is essential to all of our futures.
But before we get into what is happening here, and what must happen here, I would like to acknowledge progress that China has already made on protecting biodiversity – a journey undertaken with 30 years of support from the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development which has played an important role in bridge building and in sharing lessons learnt from what is working in China and around the world.
We know for example that China has established and improved the system for protected areas. Nature reserves at all levels and of all types account for about 18 per cent of China’s land area with a view to pursuing holistic conservation and management of mountain, river, forest, farmland, lake, grassland and desert ecosystems.
But we know more is to come. Plans are afoot to roll-out large-scale greening programmes. Plans are afoot to deepen reform of collective forest tenure. Plans are afoot to establish mechanisms to realize the market value of ecosystem goods and services and improve the compensation system for ecological conservation.
What China has already done will serve as a staging platform for meeting any commitments under the global biodiversity framework. And the framework will, of course, bolster efforts underway – provided negotiators deliver an ambitious and measurable framework.
So, at this meeting, we must adopt a transformational framework that speaks to all parts of government and society. It must address the five drivers of biodiversity loss: the changing use of sea and land, overexploitation, pollution, climate change and invasive species.
The commitments it includes must then be urgently delivered. We must translate action on these drivers into the agriculture sector, into the infrastructure sector, into the finance sector, into policies and key levers.
A key element of success will be finance for implementation. The GEF’s eighth replenishment brought nearly USD 3.4 billion dedicated to biodiversity. There is growing recognition of the need to leverage private finance and increase domestic resource mobilization. But we need to do more.
China’s green finance market is well poised for rapid growth – supported by the development of its green finance system, government policies, and initiatives like green finance pilot zones and the carbon trading market. China has released a series of fiscal policy tools to support the green transition, which includes fiscal funds, tax incentives, investment, and government green procurement. I look forward to seeing how China moves forward on increasing finance for implementation of the framework.
Friends, to slow the triple planetary of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste, we need to cooperate – under the framework, the Paris Agreement and every multilateral environmental agreement.
China’s full participation will be critical to success. We at UNEP are very proud to be working on these common areas with China, and the China Council, to connect the climate, biodiversity and pollution agendas, and ensure a brighter future for every person on this planet.
Source : SouthChinaMorningPost