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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the High Level Event: Raising Ambition for Nature

2021-04-20 06:32

Protecting nature concerns the future of mankind. Building a beautiful home is a dream shared by all people. The COVID-19 pandemic tells us that man and nature are in one community. It is imperative that the international community uphold multilateralism, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and jointly tackle challenges such as biodiversity loss, climate change and marine environment pollution to realize global sustainable development.

China attaches great importance to ecological protection. We believe clear water and green mountains are the most valuable assets. We have incorporated the protection of ecosystem into our overall development plan. As the host of COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), China is making every effort in preparation for the conference. Speaking at the Biodiversity Summit last September, President Xi Jinping invited world leaders and heads of international organizations to the beautiful city of Kunming for COP15 to discuss biodiversity conservation.

Due to the pandemic, COP15 has been rescheduled for 11-24 October 2021. The theme of the Conference is “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”, and it will consider and adopt the “Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”, which will set the direction for global biodiversity conservation. China will also host the second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Beijing in October. All parties are welcomed to participate in the two conferences at the highest level possible.

The preparatory work for COP15 is well underway. China has agreed with the Secretariat of the Convention on the host country agreement, according to which the Conference will be held through both in-person and virtual meetings. A preliminary program is ready for the high-level meeting to be held by the Chinese government. And eight parallel events, including the Ecological Civilization Forum, will be held to discuss the importance of enhancing biodiversity conservation from different perspectives. At the same time, the parties are having consultations on the “Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”.

Now, COP15 is just a few months away. China looks forward to working with all other parties to ensure a fruitful COP15 to inject new momentum into global environmental governance.

-We need to give high political importance to COP15. Secretary-General Guterres has repeatedly stressed that this is a critical time to reshape our relationship with nature, and humanity needs a healthy planet to achieve sustainable development. Biodiversity is the foundation for human survival and development. We should explore a path of harmonious coexistence between man and nature through COP15. We should also make sure that synergies will be formed among COP15, COP26 of UNFCCC, the Second Global Sustainable Transport Conference and other important conferences to promote sustainable development across the globe. President Xi had a very good discussion in this regard with President Macron, and Chancellor Merkel at the recent virtual Summit, which provided strong guidance for our future cooperation.

-We need to accelerate consultations on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The Framework is expected to be the major outcome of COP15, and will set the targets and pathway for global biodiversity conservation for the coming decade. The Framework should reflect the three main objectives of the Convention in a balanced manner, be both ambitious and practical, and promote a better recovery from the pandemic. It should fully address the concerns of developing countries, strengthen support for them in terms of finance, technology and capacity building, and build a more just and equitable biodiversity governance system in which each country can do its part.

-We need to take concrete actions to protect biodiversity. There is only one Earth. We must protect the ecological environment as much as we take care of our eyes. We must take environmental issues seriously at all times, not only during meetings and conferences. In recent years, China has been working hard to build a beautiful country and put its 1.4 billion people on a path of green development. This is significant contribution to the development of global ecological civilization. All countries should fulfill their commitments to reverse biodiversity loss and ecological degradation. Irresponsible acts such as discharging nuclear waste water into the sea must be stopped before it is too late, to avoid ecological catastrophes whose impacts can never be undone.

Advancing biodiversity conservation and global environmental governance requires the unremitting efforts of all countries. China will continue to earnestly fulfill its obligations and play its role as the Host and Presidency of COP15. We will strengthen communication and cooperation with the Secretariat of the Convention and other countries, to make COP15 a successful conference of milestone significance in a bid to build a beautiful world of harmony of all.

Thank you.

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