UN to Meet in Sharm El Sheikh to Discuss Biodiversity Threats

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From the 17th to the 29th of November, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will be holding its fourteenth conference in Sharm El Sheikh to discuss issues facing the state of the world’s ecosystems and how best to protect them. All 196 member-states to the convention are set to participate, according to The Guardian.

Egypt will be the first African and Arab country to host the conference, which is set to be one of the biggest conferences on biodiversity the UN will hold, according to the conference’s official website. It is also significant that it is being held in Sharm El Sheikh, where the surrounding aquatic regions are home to some of the world’s most diverse and important marine ecosystems.

This particular conference comes at a crucial time with the planet facing a number of environmental crises such as climate change due to human activity. It will focus on how protecting biodiversity and pursuing environmental sustainability can be incorporated into the global economy to bring mutual benefit for all of humanity.

The convention is the UN body responsible for researching the dangers facing global biodiversity, as well as engaging the cooperation of all its members in taking the necessary measures to protect the natural systems and cycles that humans depend on to live.

Speaking to The Guardian, the executive director of the convention, Cristiana Pașca Palmer, said that the “loss of biodiversity is a silent killer” and emphasised that it as much of a threat to humanity as climate change. “It’s different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is happening, it may be too late.”

She warned that the world has two years to agree a new deal on protecting natural habitats and wildlife before we become the “first species to document our own extinction”. Palmer urged people to pressure their governments to draft and pursue targets by 2020 as they will be vital in maintaining the world’s food, water, and oxygen supplies.

The Sharm El Sheikh conference will be the start of two years of tough negotiations between the convention’s member-states when they will be expected to have reached an agreement in time for the next conference in 2020 to be held in Beijing.

Main image: eytours.co

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