Message from the Secretary General on the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity, 22 May

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

New York, 22 May 2015 – The variety of life on Earth is essential for the welfare of current and future generations. The conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biological diversity can help solve a range of societal challenges.

Protecting ecosystems and ensuring access to ecosystem services by poor and vulnerable groups are essential to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Reducing deforestation and land degradation and enhancing carbon stocks in forests, drylands, rangelands and croplands generate significant social and economic benefits and are cost-effective ways to mitigate climate change.

Any sustainable development framework must provide the enabling conditions for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, for more equitable sharing of benefits, and for reducing the drivers of biodiversity loss. The sustainable development goals and the broader post-2015 development agenda, which are under negotiation now, provide an opportunity to mainstream biodiversity and promote transformational change in how economies and societies use and regard biodiversity.

The globally adopted Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets provide a useful model that Member States can use in considering how to implement the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Meeting the Aichi Targets and addressing biodiversity loss more generally would contribute significantly to the post-2015 development agenda.

On this International Day for Biological Diversity, let us recommit to global action to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss, for people and for our planet.