BEIJING — As species worldwide continue to become extinct at an alarming rate, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation pose a major risk to human survival and development. It is high time for the international community to join hands to protect their common future.
As was underscored by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, “Our two-century-long experiment with burning fossil fuels, destroying forests, wilderness and oceans, and degrading the land, has caused a biosphere catastrophe.”
A key UN conference kicked off this week in southwest China’s Kunming to discuss a blueprint for biodiversity conservation over the next decade. Themed “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth,” it is the first global conference convened by the UN to highlight ecological civilization, a philosophy proposed by China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke via video link on Tuesday, announcing a series of new, concrete initiatives based on China’s firm determination and long-standing efforts in line with the mantra “Green mountains are gold mountains and silver mountains.”
Among the significant actions, China will establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund to support biodiversity protection in developing countries, taking the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan (233 million U.S. dollars). China will move faster to establish a protected-areas system with national parks as the mainstay. The country will also put in place a “1+N” policy framework for carbon peak and carbon neutrality.
These measures are encouraging news for the world amid efforts to improve biodiversity and environmental governance. They also reflect China’s resolve to continue building an ecological civilization, as the country is now equipped with better resources to maintain the balance between the dual tasks of economic recovery and environmental protection.
China is advancing biodiversity conservation and development in parallel. Biodiversity conservation has been elevated to a national strategy in China and has been incorporated into mid- and long-term plans in all regions and fields. China is also helping developing countries to preserve biodiversity through multilateral channels such as the Belt and Road Initiative and South-South cooperation.
As the latest move in pursuit of green development, China has set ambitious goals on carbon peak and carbon neutrality, accompanied by a series of supporting measures. China will continue to readjust its industrial structure and energy mix, vigorously develop renewable energy, and make faster progress on planning and developing large wind-power and photovoltaic bases in sandy areas, rocky areas and deserts.
China will work together with the international community on a new model of global biodiversity governance that is fairer and more reasonable, with each member contributing its share, so as to realize the worldwide vision of harmonious coexistence between humankind and nature.
Protecting biodiversity helps protect the Earth, our common homeland, and contributes to humanity’s sustainable development. The international community should jointly shoulder the responsibility for future generations and build a community of all life on Earth, and a clean and beautiful world for us all.