Opening Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Thematic Webinar “COP15: Road to Kunming, Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”
21 May 2021
Distinguished Secretary-General Guterres,
Executive Secretary Mrema,
Minister Huang Runqiu,
Welcome to today’s webinar.
May 22 marks the International Day for Biological Diversity and May 21 the second International Tea Day. The designation of these two days by the UN General Assembly aims to promote better ecological conservation and global sustainable development. This year, CBD COP15 will be held in Kunming from October 11 to 24. At the UN Summit on Biodiversity last September, President Xi Jinping welcomed all parties to the beautiful “Spring City” of Kunming, to discuss and draw up plans together for protecting global biodiversity. Currently, the preparation for COP15 is being advanced in an active and orderly fashion.
To celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity and International Tea Day, and respond to the high attention to COP15, we, the Permanent Mission of China to the UN, the Secretariat of the CBD, and the FAO together host this webinar to update you on the COP15 preparation, and have in-depth discussion on biodiversity protection, in a bid to contribute to a successful conference in Kunming.
2021 is a crucial year for global environmental governance. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage, it is important for the international community to reflect on the relations between man and nature, and with a sense of urgency, tackle challenges such as biodiversity loss, environmental deterioration and climate change, and foster a community of life for man and nature.
We need to respect nature, protect it, and follow its laws to advance global ecological civilization. Our solutions are in Nature. Systemic spoil of nature will take away the foundation of human survival and development, and will leave us like a river without a source and a tree without its roots. The international community should pay greater attention to this issue. We should protect nature and the ecological environment like we protect our eyes, and strive for harmonious co-existence between man and nature with unprecedented ambition and action.
We need to pursue sustainable development so that we can recover better and faster. Green mountains are gold mountains. A sound ecological environment itself means productivity. It offers the foundation for us to achieve SDGs such as reducing poverty, ending hunger, and creating jobs, and greatly enhances the happiness and sense of gains for people around the world. The international community should follow the trend of green development to upgrade economic, energy and industrial structure, to support post-pandemic recovery and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We need to step up actions and cooperation for better global environmental governance. The international community must uphold multilateralism and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to deepen the global partnership of win-win cooperation. Developed countries should make concrete efforts to provide developing countries with financial, technological and capacity-building support. We need to work for the adoption of a comprehensive, balanced, ambitious and implementable post-2020 framework of action at COP15. In addition, we need to strengthen coordination with other UN meetings such as the Food Systems Summit, the Global Sustainable Transport Conference and the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26), to create synergy for promoting sustainable development.
As one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, China adopts a holistic approach to conserving the mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes and grasslands, and is committed to ecological civilization and promoting a fair and equitable system of global environmental governance for win-win cooperation. China tops the world in forest resource increase over the past decade. 90% of terrestrial ecosystem types and 85% of key wild animal populations in China have been effectively protected. The area of desertified land in China, which used to increase by 10,040 square kilometers annually, now decreases by 2,424 square kilometers per year. We also strive to achieve carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. Guided by the vision of green development and the 2030 Agenda, China helps other developing countries combat biodiversity loss and climate change through Belt and Road cooperation and South-South cooperation to benefit their people.
China will continue to earnestly fulfill its obligations as the host country and work with all countries for a productive and historic COP15. Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu will later update you in detail on the preparation for COP15. We look forward to your active discussion and valuable suggestions regarding the preparatory work.