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AFP
September 29, 2020

Nations commit to reverse nature loss by 2030

World

AFP
September 29, 2020

Dozens of countries representing more than a quarter of global GDP on Monday released a fresh set of pledges for “urgent and immediate” action to halt nature loss and protect Earth’s crucial biodiversity.

Ahead of the UN Summit on Biodiversity this week, more than 60 heads of state and government promised to slash air pollution, eliminate ocean plastic and transition to more sustainable food systems by 2030.

The pledge comes just two weeks after the UN’s periodic review of existing global conservation plans found that nations were set to miss all 20 targets they set themselves back in 2010 to halt nature loss. The WWF’s biennial Living Planet Index, released separately this month, showed that wild populations of animals, birds, fish and plants had plummeted nearly 70 percent since 1970.

“Two major reports published this month conclude we are utterly failing to protect the diversity of life on Earth,” said Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and co-chair of the international Earth Commission.

“We are failing to protect the resilience of our global commons. And we are failing to ensure a stable planet for future generations.” The UN’s biodiversity panel IPBES last year warned that up to one million species faced extinction — many within decades — as human activity had “severely degraded” three-quarters of land on the planet.

Signatories to the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature said that nature loss was wreaking “irreversible harm” to life on Earth, aggravating inequality and contributing to climate change while increasing the future risk of pandemics such as Covid-19.

Nations including Germany, France, Britain and Mexico promised to develop an “ambitious” plan for ahead of next year’s UN COP15 Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China.