November 25, 2020

Statement by Dr. Costas Kadis, “United Nations Biodiversity Summit Plenary Segment”

kadis-biodeversityIntervention by Dr. Costas Kadis, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus (Virtual)

United Nations Biodiversity Summit Plenary Segment 

UN Headquarters, 30 September 2020 

Your Excellences, distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor for me today to share with all of you our views for this crucial issue, the life itself on the planet, the protection and halting of the loss of biodiversity.

During the past months, we have been experiencing a unique situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing in a painful way, how important it is to keep a balance between humans and nature.

There is an urgent need to take immediate actions to address the direct and indirect causes of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. This is fundamental in order to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and reach the 2050 vision for Biodiversity “Living in Harmony with Nature”. Unfortunately, current efforts have not resulted in the desired outcome. We must therefore upscale action and raise ambition.

As part of the European Union Family, Cyprus strongly supports the Union’s Green Deal which encompasses policies for combating climate change, protecting nature and biodiversity, promoting circularity and sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The Green Deal places biodiversity in the center of many sectors. This is an important step for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Cyprus strongly supports this framework. Our government has recently approved a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which includes clearly set objectives for the conservation of habitats and species, as well as for improving management of protected areas. Additionally, we are developing our Circular Economy Strategy, aiming to change current production and consumption patterns. At the same time, education and information campaigns focusing on biodiversity and our consumption patterns are under way.

Biodiversity loss and climate change are interdependent; therefore, it is essential to enhance our efforts towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. Cyprus has adopted a National Climate Adaptation Strategy as well as a Mitigation Strategy, through which nature protection solutions are promoted.

Another important issue we must address is the illegal wildlife trade, through which zoonotic diseases are emerging, with devastating consequences. This international issue is linked with biodiversity protection, our consumption patterns, as well as our values.

 

In conclusion, there is an urgent need for policies that move towards transformed economic models, which will embody the biodiversity dimension.

Now is the time to make such positive leaps and upscale our efforts. Our discussions today as well as at the upcoming CBD COP 15 stress this ambition at high level.

Thank you for allowing me to share our views. I wish to all of us success in bringing the necessary changes this new decade.