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Interview: COP15 Kunming Declaration to help advance agenda on climate, nature conservation -- expert

N.C.N. Limited logo N.C.N. Limited 14/10/2021 Yang Shilong,Hu Yousong
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Aerial photo taken on Sept. 30, 2021 shows the view of the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park in south China's Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

"The Kunming Declaration will help us not just to generate ambition in the complex negotiations ahead but will help enormously in narrowing the action gap between climate and nature conservation," said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility.

by Yang Shilong, Hu Yousong

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Kunming Declaration, adopted Wednesday at the ongoing 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), will significantly help advance the agenda on climate and nature conservation, an environment expert has said.

"The Kunming Declaration will help us not just to generate ambition in the complex negotiations ahead but will help enormously in narrowing the action gap between climate and nature conservation," Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), told Xinhua on Wednesday.

"We need a more integrated approach. COP15 and the Kunming Declaration will help us move the integration agenda," said Rodriguez, who served as Costa Rican environment and energy minister for three terms.

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Photo taken on Aug. 26, 2021 shows a view of the Zedang Lake at Guan'egou national forest park in Dangchang County of Longnan, northwest China's Gansu Province. (Xinhua/Ma Xiping)

For Rodriguez, the biggest takeaway from COP15, the first global conference convened by the United Nations on the topic of ecological civilization, is "the recognition of three things that are highly important."

"First, all leaders and non-state actors recognized that we live in a biodiversity crisis and that we need to take action based on the scientific recommendations, evidence and data," he said.

"Second, all leaders acknowledged the huge global financial gap to protect nature. Narrowing the gap will require a positive mix of mobilizing financial resources from all sources plus the need to phase out negative investment, incentives and subsidies. We need to stop all investments that destroy nature," he said.

"Third, all leaders recognize that we need to protect 30 percent of the land and oceans," Rodriguez said.

The Kunming Declaration commits to ensuring the formulation, adoption and implementation of an effective post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to reverse the current loss of biodiversity and ensure that biodiversity is on the path to recovery by 2030 at the latest, so as to fully meet the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature.

The Washington-based GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund supporting environmental action in developing countries and the main financing mechanism for multiple United Nations environmental conventions.  

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