x

Science

Leaders at Summit Focus on Better Protecting Biodiversity

January 11, 2021

PARIS — Protecting the world's biodiversity was on the agenda Monday for world leaders at the One Planet Summit, which was being held by videoconference due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The one-day summit will focus on four major topics: protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems; promoting agroecology, a more sustainable way to grow food; increasing funding to protect biodiversity; and identifying links between deforestation and the health of humans and animals.

About 30 leaders, government officials and heads of international organizations were to attend, including U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. China will be represented by Vice Premier Han Zheng.

The event, organized by France, the United Nations and the World Bank, is taking place in the absence of top officials from the United States, as President-elect Joe Biden, a strong proponent of climate issues, does not take office until Jan. 20. Other notable absences include the leaders of Russia, India and Brazil. 

Organizers hope to merge the fight against climate change and the preservation of biodiversity as experts say the two issues are interconnected and any solutions must be as well.

The U.N. stressed that "the COVID-19 pandemic has been a dramatic reminder of the importance of nature for our daily lives and economies." 

"Biodiversity represents the natural capital of the world, yet exploitation, pollution and climate change are bringing irreversible damage to ecosystems," the U.N. said ahead of the summit.

Monday's talks seek to prepare negotiations to set biodiversity targets for the next decade at a U.N. conference on biodiversity to be held in China in October, after it was postponed last year due to the pandemic. The U.N.'s global climate summit, the COP26, has also been rescheduled for November.

The summit also intends to boost the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which was launched in 2019 by Costa Rica, France and Britain to set a target of protecting at least 30% of the planet, including land and sea, by 2030.

A side conference on Monday is focusing on investment for Africa's Great Green Wall project, which involves gigantic efforts to stop the Sahara Desert from spreading futher south. Launched in 2007, the program consists in planting an arc of trees running 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) across Africa — from Senegal along the Atlantic all the way to Djibouti on the Gulf of Aden.

RELATED

HILO, Hawaii — The first eruption in 38 years of the world's largest active volcano is attracting onlookers to a national park for "spectacular" views of the event, and it's also dredging up bad memories among some Hawaii residents who have been through harrowing volcanic experiences in the past.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Starts to Erupt, Sending Ash Nearby (Video)

HONOLULU — Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, has started to erupt for the first time in nearly four decades, prompting volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby, authorities said Monday.

MADRID — Against a backdrop of Russian bombardments, border closures and a nail-biting 3,500-kilometer (2,150-mile) truck journey across Europe, Spain's Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum has teamed up with the National Art Museum of Ukraine to secretly bring dozens of 20th century Ukrainian avant-garde artworks to Madrid for a unique exhibition and a show of support for the war-torn country.

HILO, Hawaii — The first eruption in 38 years of the world's largest active volcano is attracting onlookers to a national park for "spectacular" views of the event, and it's also dredging up bad memories among some Hawaii residents who have been through harrowing volcanic experiences in the past.

BEIJING — Three Chinese astronauts docked early Wednesday with their country's space station, where they will overlap for several days with the three-member crew already onboard and expand the facility to its maximum size.

NASA is canceling a planned satellite that was going to intensely monitor greenhouse gases over the Americas because it got too costly and complicated.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.