PNG PM urges financial support for biodiversity conservation

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KUNMING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Papua New Guinean (PNG) Prime Minister James Marape on Tuesday called for financial support to help the island country preserve its rainforests, or the "lungs of the world."

"My country needs development financing in exchange for concentrated effort on conservation, and I would like to use the platform of this forum to invite partnerships for this most worthwhile cause," Marape said in his speech via video at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, known as COP15.

The meeting kicked off Monday in Kunming, the capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province. It provides an important platform for the international community to discuss urgent action for biodiversity agendas for the decade to come.

The southwestern Pacific island country hosts 13 percent of the world's rainforests, which play a crucial role in absorbing carbon and easing global climate change. About 71 percent of its land is covered by rainforests. However, deforestation and degradation are accelerating in the country due to biodiversity loss and climate change.

"PNG needs partners, responsible and like-minded individuals, corporate citizens and governments who can assist us conserve this 13 percent rainforests -- this important lungs of the world -- and this precious biodiversity that is contained in our country," Marape said.

The theme of the Kunming conference, "'Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth,' is something PNG is now keenly pursuing," he said. Enditem

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