Von der Leyen calls for global ambition to protect biodiversity

by IANS |

Brussels, Nov 21 (IANS) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has underlined the need to focus global efforts on protecting the nature and addressing the alarming loss of biodiversity.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the G20 summit, von der Leyen on Friday said protecting the environment and biodiversity is instrumental in preventing new pandemics and their dire economic consequences, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The increasing pressure on our nature and wildlife is a major factor behind the rise of zoonotic diseases. It is a fertile breeding ground for future pandemics," she said.

The chief executive of the European Union (EU) emphasized that an ambitious global agreement will be needed at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China.

Rescheduled for May 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UN biodiversity meeting will adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The EU, which started the European Green Deal a year ago when committing to reach climate neutrality by 2050, hopes to inspire other countries with its own plan that will protect at least 30 per cent of species existing on the EU's land and sea areas.

"We need the same ambition at the global level if we are to protect humanity against the global threat," said von der Leyen.

Earlier this year, von der Leyen's commission has adopted the bloc's new Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, which will be the proposal for the EU contribution to the negotiations at the Kunming conference.

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