The theme for the 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference has been announced during a press conference held by the Minister of Ecology and Environment of China and the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Beijing, China. “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth” will frame the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, to be held in Kunming, China in 2020. The conference is expected to adopt a new 30-year plan for the conservation and sustainable use of nature.
The conference comes at a critical point for all life on earth. New hard-hitting assessments from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Global Environment Outlook have raised greater awareness of the essential role that nature plays in supporting all life on earth. They highlight the numerous threats that it faces and actions that can be taken to secure a future for people and nature. There is an ever-increasing urgency to take such actions and an acknowledgement that to effectively address the challenges facing nature we must adopt a holistic approach across all parts of society and the economy.
The “Ecological Civilization” theme reflects the already-adopted vision of Living in Harmony with Nature by 2050, emphasising the need to combine traditional approaches with new innovations to conserve and sustainably use nature. Neville Ash, Director of UNEP-WCMC welcomed the announcement of the theme. He said: “Ecological Civilization not only reflects the essential role that nature plays in underpinning people’s lives but also the need to improve our relationship with nature in all areas, from the way we govern to the way we produce and consume goods around the world. At UNEP-WCMC we are working to help the world re-establish a balance in our relationship with other life on earth, and we look forward to continuing to support the development of the future plan for nature.”
Preparations are already underway for the 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference through discussions of the Open-Ended Working Group. UNEP-WCMC supported the first session of the Working Group, held from 27-30 August in Nairobi, Kenya, which will be followed by two further sessions to be held in Kunming, China in February 2020 and Colombia in July 2020.