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"Over 60 percent of the world's coral reefs are in danger from overfishing, destructive practices, and climate change," Guterres warned.
During the first United Nations Biodiversity Summit, the representatives of the attending countries recognized the existence of an enormous global environmental crisis, but they did not offer concrete answers. The negotiation of a multilateral agreement on biodiversity with similar scope to the "Paris Agreement" is still pending.
According to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, human societies need to end the current "war" against nature and rebuild their relationship with it.
"Over 60 percent of the world's coral reefs are in danger from overfishing, destructive practices, and climate change. Wildlife populations are declining from overconsumption, population growth, and intensive agriculture. And the rate of endangered species is speeding up, with nearly a million of them currently threatened," he warned.
"Our existence on this planet totally depends on our ability to protect the natural world around us," the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Volkan Bozkir recalled.
Deforestation, climate change and the conversion of wilderness for human food production are destroying Earth’s web of life.
We have to change course and transform our relationship with the natural world.
Although the Summit evidenced a high level of awareness, the real responses will have to wait until next year, when China will host the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), an event that was scheduled for this year but it had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN state members have failed to meet even one of the 20 goals that were set in 2010, so it will be essential to increase the ambition in the post-2020 period.
Among the main objectives for the next decade is to protect 30 percent of the land and sea surface by 2030, a goal to which dozens of countries have already committed individually.