United Nations Environment Program: Nature Champions Summit urges leaders to put nature at centre of sustainable development agenda
The inaugural Nature Champions Summit closed Thursday with a call to put nature at the centre of the global discourse together with climate action and sustainable development. The Government of Canada convened the conference from 24 to 25 April in Montreal, bringing environment ministers and government officials from around the world together with representatives of UN agencies and civil society organizations, indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as business leaders and philanthropists.
“I do not need to tell you that we are the last generation that can act for the climate and biodiversity. Those two topics are closely linked. You cannot address one without the other,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told delegates. “Climate change is threatening nature, our houses and our ways of life. When we destroy our natural ecosystems this speeds up the process.”
CBD Executive Secretary Dr. Cristiana Pașca Palmer welcomed the Summit and commended Canada for its leadership on environmental matters. The Government of Canada has pledged to double the area under protected status, meeting the CBD Aichi Biodiversity Targets of 17 per cent of land and inland waters and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas protected by 2020. The Government has also committed $500 million to establish a Nature Fund with private sector partners …
… The Montreal Nature Champions Summit placed a special focus on partnerships with indigenous communities and the need to incorporate traditional knowledge in strategies for nature conservation and sustainable use.
“We want jobs and opportunities, like everyone else, and economic growth and economic prosperity. But we don’t want it to be a trade-off of letting go of our culture,” said Sandra Inutiq, chief negotiator for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. “We want those opportunities that honour our relationship of reciprocity with our homeland.”
Along with Uganda, Canada currently serves as co-chair of the United Nations process, under the Convention on Biological Diversity, leading to the adoption of a new international framework for biodiversity beyond 2020.
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