UN chief calls for action to check biodiversity decline

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, May 22, 2010
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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon on Friday called on the international community to take action to arrest the decline of biodiversity.

"The planet's species and habitats, and the goods and services they provide, form the basis of our wealth, our health and our well-being," Ban said in his message to the International Day for Biological Diversity, which falls on Saturday.

"Yet, despite repeated global commitments to protect this heritage, the variety of life on Earth continues to decline at an unprecedented rate," he said.

Communities everywhere will reap the negative consequences, but the poorest people and the most vulnerable countries will suffer most, he said.

The secretary-general noted that 70 percent of the world's poor live in rural areas, and depend directly on biodiversity for their daily sustenance and income.

"In this International Year of Biodiversity, let us reflect on the root causes of biodiversity decline and take action to arrest it," he said.

He urged governments to "adjust policies and mindsets to reflect the true value of species and habitats."

"Let us recognize that biodiversity is life -- our life. Let us act now to preserve it, before it is too late," he added.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2001 to designate May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity. The theme of this year's observance is Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Alleviation.

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