Zimbabwe calls for urgent action in support of a biodiversity framework

By Janet Munyaka

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has rallied world leaders towards taking urgent action in support of a biodiversity framework and additional funding for programmes in developing

The biodiversity summit held virtually on the sidelines of the on-going 75th United Nations General Assembly this Wednesday, saw leaders highlighting the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action for sustainable development.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa called for decisive action in the wake of the devastating Cyclone Idai and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“ We are grappling with interconnected challenges affecting the world. Zimbabwe like the rest of the world faces unprecedented emergencies caused by challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and the threat of COVID-19, on the gains made with regards to biodiversity conservation and the ability to meet the SDGs,

  These negative trends must be halted and reversed to avoid a global environment tragedy. The outbreak of the COVID-19 whose origin is linked to mother nature has reminded us that humanity and the environment are inseparable. Instructively sustainable global partnerships to nurture relationships between humanity and the environment have therefore become more urgent,” he said.

Zimbabwe is party to the United Nations  Convention on Biological Diversity and all the member states adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity running from 2011 to this year, profiling 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets (ABTs) to be achieved by 2020 at global level.

However, most of the targets have not been achieved.

The Aichi targets set out in the biodiversity strategic plan 2011 to 2020 are not on track. We must seek to redouble our efforts towards accomplishing the agreed targets and goals guided by science. In addition, a funding mechanism to support capacity building and technology transfer to developing countries is of uttermost importance without these interventions, the failure of Aichi biodiversity targets will continue to haunt us. The principle of common but differential responsibilities in relation to resource mobilisation and financial support remains crucial for the successful implementation of the plan,

  The interlinkages between biodiversity, food security, disaster risk reduction, health and climate change cannot be overemphasized. This brings to the fore the need to align the goals of the post-2020 biodiversity framework with SDGs to ensure the full realisation of sustainable development living in harmony with nature. Zimbabwe remains committed to the three core objectives of the biodiversity convention which are conservation, benefit sharing and sustainable use. We will thus deploy the appropriate interventions and resources towards the full realisation of its successful implementation,” he added.    

The President also encouraged world leaders to utilise the forthcoming 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the convention on biological diversity, COP15 to develop a framework for realising and nurturing a positive and carbon neutral world by 2030 for humanity to live in harmony with nature.

The biodiversity summit was convened by President Volkan Bozkır of Turkey, who is this year’s President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

Zimbabwe is rich in biodiversity and is globally renowned for its long history in conservation.   However, over the last few decades, Zimbabwe’s biodiversity has come under increasing pressure from a multitude of threats such as climate change, global warming, over-exploitation of natural resources and pollution among others.