With more than a million species at risk of extinction, countries must work now to achieve a sustainable future for people and the planet.
“We are losing our suicidal war against nature,” Antonio Guterres said in a video message to the meeting, which is mainly being held virtually.
The UN chief warned that “humanity’s reckless interference with nature” will have permanent consequences.
Ecosystem collapse looming
“The rate of species loss is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average of the past 10 million years, and accelerating.
Over a million species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates are at risk, many within decades,” he said.
“Ecosystem collapse could cost almost three trillion US dollars annually by 2030.
Its greatest impact will be on some of the poorest and most highly indebted countries,” he added.
‘Ceasefire’ with nature
The conference, known as COP15, will develop a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade.
“COP15 is our chance to call a ceasefire,” said the UN Secretary-General.
“Together with COP26 on climate, it should lay the foundations for a permanent peace agreement”, according UN News.
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