SCIO press conference on 'Biodiversity Conservation in China' white paper

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Beijing Youth Daily:

According to the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO-5) released in September 2020, progress on the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets set in 2010 was insufficient. What were the main reasons for that? How well did China meet the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets? What were the achievements and shortcomings? 

Zhao Yingmin: 

Thank you for your questions. At the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010, the international community adopted the global biodiversity conservation targets for the 2011-2020 period to deal with severe biodiversity loss. According to the GBO-5 released by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in September 2020, although most parties actively formulated their own national policies and targets to protect biodiversity, and made significant progress in the mainstreaming of biodiversity, the Aichi Targets were not sufficiently met around the globe. The trend of biodiversity loss is not being reversed fundamentally and the pressure on biodiversity is still increasing. Looking back, there are several experiences and lessons that we should learn.

First, global targets should be both ambitious and practical and feasible. Second, implementation mechanisms and supportive conditions should be improved. Special importance should be attached to the needs of developing countries in capital, technologies and talents. Third, all parties should further emphasize biodiversity conservation and take greater measures to ensure it. 

The upcoming COP15 will discuss the "Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework," review the progress and lessons learned from the previous global biodiversity targets of the past decade, and find opportunities for future transformations and reforms. Therefore, when discussing the new targets and strategies, we should fully reflect on the lessons of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (2021-2020). We must also boost confidence in protecting global biodiversity, take solid steps and seek truth from facts, take full consideration of the attainability and operation of the targets as well as the differences in each country's development, so as to introduce both ambitious and pragmatic targets and indicators for biodiversity protection and propose feasible roadmaps for meeting them. The framework should also follow the principle of fairness, transparency and signatory leadership; improve the implementation mechanisms and guarantee system; strengthen technological transfer and capacity building; improve developing countries' abilities to meet the agreement; and strive to build a global biodiversity governance system that is both fair and practical and based on cooperation and win-win resolution. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic teaches us a lesson that people and nature form a shared community. The international community should step up cooperation to meet the risks and challenges caused by the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of the ecosystem.

As one of the countries with the richest biodiversity in the world, China has earnestly implemented the Aichi targets, clarified various tasks and responsibilities, and achieved positive results in the implementation of the targets. Among the 20 targets, China has over-fulfilled three, made major progress in 13 and achieved phased results in four. China's overall implementation of the Aichi targets is above the global average.

The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO-5) have mentioned China's valuable experience in biodiversity conservation multiple times. Next, we will further strengthen the top-level design of biodiversity conservation. We will improve the construction of laws, regulations and the policy planning system. We will also continue to implement major biodiversity conservation projects, improve the early warning and monitoring system of alien invasive species, promote the implementation of various biodiversity conservation responsibilities through the central supervision system for ecological environment protection, and improve the ability of biodiversity governance in an all-round way. Thank you.

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