Montreal: COP15 summit hears pleas for ‘peace pact with nature’

“Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction,” the head of the United Nations has warned at the start of a high-level nature summit in Canada.

In order to set goals for reversing the loss of nature, governments are convening in Montreal.

We have a chance to halt the “orgy of devastation,” according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which has put a million species at risk of extinction.

It’s time to establish a peace treaty with nature, he continued.

Biodiversity is the whole of all species that are alive today, as well as how they are interconnected to form the intricate web of life that provides us with food, fresh water, and clean air.

Nearly 200 nations will meet in Montreal to try and get an agreement on how to start the globe on a path to restoring nature by the end of the decade.​​

The COP15 UN summit is considered as an opportunity to achieve for biodiversity what the Paris agreement has achieved for the battle against climate change, raising the stakes significantly.

The two concerns are linked, and there are worries that failing to achieve a favourable resolution on safeguarding nature will make combating climate change much more difficult.

According to Dr. Abigail Entwistle of the conservation organisation Fauna and Flora International, “the concept of biodiversity can be rather confusing for people, but it’s really about nature.”

We need to have the same 1.5 degree moment for biodiversity as we did for climate change because we haven’t been as effective at communicating the issues at hand and the urgency of the situation.

Some of the key ambitions of the agreement include:

* Reducing the extinction risk threatening more than one million species
* Protecting 30% of land and sea
* Eliminating billions of dollars of environmentally-damaging government subsidies
* Restoring degraded ecosystems.

The financing of the plans, and disagreement over how to preserve the environment without endangering the creation of “paper parks” or “ghost woods” that are only preserved on paper, and from which indigenous people and local communities are excluded, pose serious threats to the negotiations.

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