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IUCN World Conservation Congress warns humanity at tipping point – global problem


Congress participants at an exhibition of the Sixth Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. Credit: IUCN Ecodeo
  • By Guy Dinmore (St. David’s, Wales)
  • Inter Press Service

“Humanity has reached a critical juncture. Our window of opportunity to respond to this inter-related emergency and to share the planet’s resources equally is rapidly shrinking,” the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in its Marseille Manifesto at the conclusion of the World Conservation Congress in the French port city.

“Our existing systems do not work. Economic ‘success’ can no longer come at the expense of nature. We urgently need systematic reform. ”

The congress, held every four years, but delayed by the epidemic since 2020, serves as a kind of world parliament on major conservation issues, bringing together states, government agencies, NGOs, indigenous peoples’ organizations and affiliated members. Its resolutions and recommendations do not set policy but have shaped UN treaties and conventions in the past and will help set the agenda for the next three UN summits – food security, climate change and biodiversity.

IUCN Director General Dr.

“Collectively, IUCN members are sending a strong message to Glasgow and Kunming: the time for fundamental change is now,” he said, adding that the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP2) in November and the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP 15) in China Will be held in part, online next month and in person in April-May 2022.

The week-long IUCN Congress, attended by nearly 1,000,000 delegates in Marseille and more than 3,500 online, was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron: “There is no vaccine for the sick planet.”

He called on world leaders to make financial commitments to conserve nature equivalent to the climate, to stop plastic pollution, to stop deforestation of rainforests by eliminating their raw materials in the supply chain, and to list phases of pesticides.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in a recorded message that protecting nature and tackling the climate crisis was “not a global but a traditional security issue.”

Some scientists fear that the climate emergency is “now near an unchanging tipping point”, with the Marcel Manifesto also saying “reasons to be optimistic.”

“We are fully capable of bringing about a complete change and accelerating it … investing in nature, investing in our collective future.”

Highlights of the IUCN Congress include: the post-2020 biodiversity conservation framework; The role of nature in global recovery from epidemics; Climate emergency; And the need to transform the global financial system and transform direct investments into projects that benefit nature.

In 148 resolutions and recommendations in Marseille and through pre-event online voting, Congress called for designating 80 percent of the Amazon and 30 percent of the Earth’s land and sea as “protected areas” to stop the loss of wildlife.

Members voted overwhelmingly to recommend a moratorium on deep-sea mining and to reform the international seabed authority, an intergovernmental regulatory body.

Jessica Battle, leader of the WWF’s Deep Sea Mining Initiative, said, “The clear support for yes to global inaction in deep-sea mining is that there is no social license for deep-sea mining.” News agency.

An urgent proposal to declare four-fifths of the Amazon Basin a protected area by 2025 was submitted by COICA, an umbrella group representing more than two million indigenous peoples across nine South American countries. It has passed with overwhelming support.

Jose Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, general coordinator of the COICA and leader of the Venezuelan Kuripako people, said the proposal was a “plan to liberate the aborigines and the planet.”

The Amazon has lost about 10,000 square kilometers of forest each year over the past two decades. Brazil is not a member of the IUCN and thus could not take part in the vote against the agenda of President Zaire Bolsonaro.

The five-page Marseille Manifesto repeatedly mentions indigenous and indigenous peoples, “a central role in their conservation as leaders and custodians of biodiversity” and among those most at risk for climate and nature emergencies.

“Around the world, those working to protect the environment are under attack,” the document recalls.

Global Witness, a campaign group, reported that at least 227 environmental and land rights activists were killed in 2020, the highest number recorded for the second year in a row. Indigenous peoples are responsible for one-third of the victims. Colombia has had the most attacks.

The proposed proposal to give protected status to percent of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030 states that selected areas must be included in “biodiversity hotspots”, strictly monitored and enforced, and that indigenous peoples recognize their land, territory and rights. The resource ‘30 by 30 ’target is meant to be a message at the UN Biodiversity Conference, which is tasked with concluding an agreement on nature conservation by next May.

Many conservationists are campaigning for more than 50 percent ambitious goals.

However, the 30-by-30 initiative, already officially supported by France, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, is of considerable concern to some indigenous peoples who have often drifted away from environmental efforts and sometimes removed from their land in the name of conservation.

The IUCN Congress has also released its updated IUCN red list. The world’s largest lizard, the Komodo Dragon, has been reintroduced from a ‘weak’ state to an ‘endangered’ state, with 37 percent of shark and ray species now reported to be under threat of extinction. However, four species of tuna are showing signs of recovery.

Craig Hilton-Taylor, head of the IUCN’s Red List Unit, said the current species extinction rate is running 100 to 1,000 times the ‘normal’ or ‘background’ rate, a warning that the world is at the center of the sixth extinction event. The fifth, known as the Cretaceous mass extinction event, occurred 65 million years ago, killing an estimated 78 percent of the species, including the remaining non-avian dinosaurs.

One of the more controversial motions adopted in “synthetic biology” or genetic engineering could actually promote the local extinction of a species. This speed paves the way for further research and testing in a technology called gene drive. It can be used to fight invasive species, such as rats, snakes and mosquitoes, which have wiped out other species on the island’s habitat, especially birds.

Environmental-year-old Hollywood actor and activist Harrison Ford was left to show respect to young environmentalists and express hope for Congress.

He said, ‘Strengthening is going on. “They are now sitting in lecture halls, taking to the field for the first time, writing their thesis, they are marching, organizing the community, learning to turn emotions into progress and power into possibilities … in a few years, they will be here.”

Andrea Athanas, senior director of the African Wildlife Foundation, confirmed that there was a sense of optimism in the air in Marseille, acknowledging that solutions were at hand.

“Indigenous systems have been praised for showing a harmonious relationship between man and nature. In some places protected areas have returned and are now mixed with wildlife. The finance industry has become aware of the risks posed by degraded environments and is counting those risks at the cost of capital.

“Crisis brings an opportunity for change, and investments after the Covid recovery give us the opportunity to fundamentally renew our relationship with nature, at the center of the value of life and economic decision-making for each other., ” He told IPS.

See the full Marseille Manifesto here.


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© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal Source: Inter Press Service





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