QUESTION : What are government’s priorities and intentions for integrating biodiversity across sectors and into economic, trade and finance policies ?
Topic- PATHWAYS TO DIVERSITY
UN Summit on Biodiversity
WHY IN NEWS ?
The UN Summit on Biodiversity convened on September 30 in the midst of a global crisis caused by the novel coronavirus that is thought to have spilled over to humans from an animal reservoir
- The Summit highlighted the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development. It will provide an opportunity for Heads of State and Government and other leaders to raise ambition for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021. This framework, and its effective implementation, must put nature on a path to recovery by 2030 to meet the SDGs and realize the Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”.
- The Summit is an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and commitment to improve our relationship with nature, addressing the causes of change, and ensuring that biodiversity and the contributions it provides to all people are at the heart of sustainable development and the fight against climate change
KEY ISSUES :
- Addressing the loss of biodiversity is essential for poverty eradication, sustainable jobs, economic development and meeting the SDGs :
More than half of the world’s GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature, through the contributions of nature to people such as pollination, water quality, and natural materials. Construction, agriculture, and food and beverages are the three largest sectors most dependent on nature. In recent years, biodiversity loss has been consistently identified by business leaders as one of the top risks to global business.
- All people depend on a healthy planet :
Investments in biodiversity including through jobs, incentive reform, and policies that boost conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of biodiversity, and through an inclusive “One Health” approach are essential elements of reducing the risk of future zoonotic outbreaks, and ensure a sustainable, equitable and green recovery of economies.
- Sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity is key to ensure that no one is left behind :
Every person, in every community, depends on biodiversity, but poorer and marginalized groups are those most directly vulnerable to biodiversity loss.
- Restoration of biodiversity and implementation of nature-based solutions will be essential to meet the SDGs :
Nature-based solutions can contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation, food and water security and to protection from flooding and other extreme events, and they provide key opportunities for integrating biodiversity into actions to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs
- The Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development provides a critical opportunity to halt biodiversity loss and encourage its sustainable
- Urgent action on biodiversity is needed across all sectors and from all actors :
Action on biodiversity for sustainable development is needed by public and private sectors, including from national and sub-national governments, cities, the business and finance world, and civil society
- Aichi Targets were adopted at the Nagoya Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
- There is consensus that Aichi targets , to be achieved by 2020, have failed. Also, according to the latest UN Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report, none of the 20 targets has been fully met.
- A bright spot is the partial progress made on protecting surface and subsurface water, inland, coastal and marine areas.
- WWF’s Living Planet Index points to steep declines in vertebrate populations (a key indicator) by 68% over 1970 levels.
REASONS FOR LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY :
- Habitat loss and fragmentation
- Over-exploitation of species
- Introduction of alien species
- Global Climate Change
Climate change is another environmental problem that has surfaced in the last couple of decades.
It happens due to the pollution of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases and other contaminants.
- Environmental pollution
- Natural causes like floods, earthquakes etc.
INDIAN SCENARIO :
- India is one of the few megadiverse countries and one that recognised the value of nature as much as the destructive impact of unregulated resource exploitation.
- National laws of the 1970s and 1980s have shielded islands of biodiversity, particularly in about 5% of the country’s land designated as protected areas.
WAY FORWARD FOR INDIA :
- India should join the coalition of the enlightened.
- With the members of CBD set to draw up fresh conservation targets, India too must use it as an opportunity to plan a trajectory of green growth after COVID-19.
- Plans and targets should be set around clean energy, ecological agriculture, a freeze on expansion of mining and dam-building, resource recovery from waste, and regeneration of arid lands.