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CARICOM’s rich biodiversity remains answer to several sustainable development challenges

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity.

Please read below a CARICOM Secretariat message to mark the occasion:

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The Caribbean Community Secretariat joins the regional and international community in celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity. This year’s global celebrations bring a renewed sense of hope with the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) which was signed on 19 December 2022 by 196 nations. This landmark achievement produced this year’s theme “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity“. Now that the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework has been approved, quick action on implementation.

Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. It also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (forests, oceans, rivers) that host multiple kinds of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals). Biological diversity resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about three billion people. Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.

But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses – diseases transmitted from animals to humans. On the other hand, rich and intact biodiversity offers excellent solutions to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the Caribbean Community Secretariat joins the regional and international community in celebration of International Day for Biological Diversity.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region’s rich biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges. Its conservation and sustainable use requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach. The new global targets aim to restore and conserve at least 30% of our lands, waters, coastal areas and oceans; cut global food waste in half and significantly reduce overconsumption and waste generation; mobilise $200+ billion per year in domestic and international biodiversity-related funding from all sources; and ensure gender equality in the implementation of the framework so that women and girls have equal opportunity and capacity.

CARICOM has a part to play in halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity. Governments have committed to implement national and sub-national policies to align with the global targets and goals. There is also a role for businesses to assess impacts and implement sustainable practices. Society will need to examine practical means to change our consumption habits to reduce waste and include dietary variety. We all need to talk about biodiversity. It is the foundation upon which we can build back better and stronger.

#BuildBackBiodiversity #AgreementToAction #KMGBF #HarmonyWithNature #30by30 #ForNature #ActionDecade #post2020

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