Species Extinction Rate Hundreds of Times Higher Than in Past 10 Million Years, Warns Secretary-General Observance Message, Urging Action to End Biodiversity Loss by 2030

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day for Biological Diversity, observed today:

To achieve a sustainable future for all, we need to act urgently to protect biodiversity, the web of life that connects and supports us all.  We must end our senseless and destructive war against nature.  The rate of species loss is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average of the past 10 million years — and accelerating.

Biodiversity is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, ending the existential threat of climate change, halting land degradation, building food security and supporting advances in human health.  And biodiversity offers ready solutions for green and inclusive growth.

This year, Governments will meet to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with clear and measurable targets and robust means of implementation that can put biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030.

The framework must tackle the drivers of biodiversity loss and enable the ambitious and transformative change needed for living in harmony with nature by effectively protecting more of the world’s land, freshwater and oceans, encouraging sustainable consumption and production, employing nature-based solutions to address climate change and ending harmful subsidies that damage the environment.  It should mobilize action and financial resources to drive concrete nature-positive investments, ensuring that we all benefit from the dividends of biological diversity.

As we accomplish these goals and implement the 2050 Vision for “living in harmony with nature”, we must act with respect for equity and human rights, particularly with regard to the many indigenous populations whose territories harbour so much biological diversity.

To save our planet’s indispensable and fragile natural wealth, everyone needs to be engaged, including youth and vulnerable populations who rely the most on nature for their livelihoods.  Today, I call on all to act to build a shared future for all life.

For information media. Not an official record.