Latest GBO report set off alarm bells, portends global catastrophe: Sisi at UN meeting on biodiversity

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Oct 2021

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has warned of a global catastrophe in light of the latest Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) report that set off alarm bells due to the rapid deterioration over the past years.

A still photo of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi addressing the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on Tuesday

Such deterioration portends a global catastrophe unless all countries enhance efforts to change consumption and production patterns and make them more sustainable and more aware of the importance of preserving biodiversity, El-Sisi said.

El-Sisi’s remarks came in a recorded speech on Tuesday while addressing the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) via video conference.

The latest GBO report published by the UN CBD in September 2020 warned that the world has so far failed to halt the destruction of wildlife and life-sustaining ecosystems. 

The world should be more alert of the importance of protecting biodiversity and maintaining the vital systems for a better future on this planet, El-Sisi said.

He added the world is experiencing a critical phase that requires relentless and unified efforts.

“We are living in a critical stage in human history that requires us to make unrelenting efforts to unite and confront the enormous challenges that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic,” the president said.

In 2018, El-Sisi says, Egypt rushed to put forward an ambitious initiative that included all aspects of environmental action with the aim of achieving harmony and integrity between efforts to preserve biodiversity, confront climate change and end desertification.

Egypt’s initiative was submitted in 2018 during the 14th meeting of the COP to the CBD held in Sharm El-Sheikh with the participation of 196 countries, under the auspices of El-Sisi.

The UN meeting on biodiversity is taking place in China, with several world leaders participating virtually to agree on a new set of goals for nature over the next decade.

El-Sisi handed the presidency of the conference to China and thanked it for its keenness to host the meeting despite the challenges of the coronavirus.

“Egypt, today, while handing over the presidency of the conference to China, it is confident that the Chinese side can continue such important moves that our peoples aspire for so as to protect the biodiversity and vital systems of our planet,” El Sisi said.

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