Egypt's President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi said that Egypt attaches special importance to biodiversity in order to achieve sustainable development.
Speaking at the opening of the 14th UN World Conference on Biodiversity (COP 14) in Sharm El-Sheikh, El-Sisi said the religious texts of the ancient Egyptians embodied their commitment to conservation of the environment and the natural resources.
The president said that Egypt has adopted policies that guarantee the preservation of the environment, pointing out that "the Egyptian Constitution has laid a strong foundation for the conservation and good utilization of the natural resources of the country protecting its seas, beaches, lakes, waterways, natural reserves and Nile River."
El-Sisi stressed that the theme of the conference, “Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet”, reflects a collective vision of the need to integrate biodiversity into all aspects of life.
During his speech El-Sisi added, "Egypt has identified a development track aimed at achieving sustainable development and social justice, taking into consideration the environment in all its dimensions."
El-Sisi emphasized the importance of protecting natural resources "from extinction or danger" for the coming generations.
"This conference comes at a time when biodiversity is facing enormous challenges, accelerated degradation and the associated challenges facing different ecosystems," said El-Sisi.
The president also said that "the human annual consumption of natural resources is more than 30 percent higher than that of the Earth's ecosystems."
The COP 14 kicked off four days after African ministerial meetings discussed the continent's biodiversity priorities and future work plans.
The conference, held every two years, is expected to discuss key measures to speed up actions to advance the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and review progress made towards its 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, a set of agreed objectives on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use to be reached by 2020.