One Planet Summit signals increased attention to biodiversity loss

January 14, 2021 -- At a One Planet Summit held this week, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People has now been joined by 50 countries.  The Coalition, which includes Canada, was launched in 2019 by Costa Rica, France and Britain to set a target of protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030.

Canada was represented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who noted that “our survival depends on nature’s survival” and said that unless we act, “the ecosystems on which we depend for our water, air, and food could collapse”.

In addition to pointing to domestic conservation efforts, the Prime Minister announced that Canada will contribute up to $55 million to the UN’s Land Degradation Neutrality Fund to support sustainable land projects in low and middle-income countries.  He also indicated that nature-based solutions and biodiversity would be a focus of international climate aid – something ICFC has called for in briefs submitted to the federal government.  And In a report issued in September, ICFC made a strong case for increased financial aid from Canada for conservation in developing countries.

Other leaders at the summit were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Vice Premier Han Zheng of China.  Notably absent were leaders from the U.S., Russia, India and Brazil.

The one-day summit focused on four major topics: protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems; promoting agroecology, a more sustainable way to grow food; increasing funding to protect biodiversity; and identifying links between deforestation and the health of humans and animals.

The summit launched a program called PREZODE, which Macron presented as an unprecedented international initiative to prevent the emergence of zoonotic diseases and pandemics.

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