We must ensure that economic recovery contributes to a green economy and sustainability. We need countries that build better in their recovery plans, prioritize biodiversity and put an end to the incentives that have led to further deterioration of biodiversity, which could also help prevent future pandemics. Some countries have already clearly spoken in its favour. For example, in May, the European Commission adopted a 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, which incorporates biodiversity loss, climate change and adaptation to biodiversity into its recovery plans. Leaders of small island states have warned of the existential threat to them, and Tuvalau Prime Minister Kausea Natano said on behalf of the 18-nation Pacific Islands Forum that the international community must urgently reduce greenhouse gases. Promoting ocean biodiversity also requires the elimination of pollution, including nuclear and radioactive waste, and relics from World War II, at a time when the region`s unique biodiversity is at risk, he said. In fact, the ocean is inextricably linked to the people of the Pacific, covering 98 percent of the region, and makes these states and their peoples managers of more than 40 million square kilometres of ocean. At the same time, he said, illegal acts, including overfishing, undermine this trust, as well as the threat of climate change. Similarly, Wilfred Elrington, Belize`s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, lamented, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States, that Member States still do not have funds for « abysmally low » natural activities, while spending on fossil fuels remains « exponential ». Drawing on a point raised by several heads of state and government, he said the COVID 19 pandemic was « a unique opportunity to develop better, » adding that all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, the civilian sector and indigenous peoples, must be involved. The COVID 19 pandemic is a wake-up call for the world to halt an alarming decline in its rich biodiversity, but it is also a unique opportunity to place bold and ambitious environmental measures at the heart of national post-coronavirus economic recovery strategies as the international community strives to achieve sustainable development goals, speakers said today, when the General Assembly hosted the first global summit dedicated to biodiversity. The project stresses that « governments and societies must set priorities and provide financial and other resources » to restore ecosystems. But the project does not mention financial targets to achieve the goals.
Biodiversity needs investment. Funding for conservation has almost doubled since 2010, but it is still not enough. The annual amount needed for the proper conservation of natural resources is estimated at $300-400 billion per year, but about $52 billion is currently available. The CBD says there is another problem: « These resources are flooded by support for activities that harm biodiversity. » In the absence of substantial and measurable mechanisms to achieve the goals, Li warned that the kunming framework could be a repeat of Aichi`s objectives, which could lead to « a lack of commitment to the rules to achieve these goals. » Biodiversity loss occurs at two levels. First, plant and animal species are dying out at an unprecedented rate, far exceeding the natural historical rate (although there is some uncertainty, since only 1.75 million species out of 14 million estimated species have been scientifically described).