UNGA president urges collective action to safeguard biodiversity, protect ecosystems

By Cecilia Ologunagba

UN General Assembly president, Abdulla Shahid, has urged Member States to step up actions to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems.

Shahid made the appeal, in his message to mark the International Mother Earth Day, on Friday in New York.

International Mother Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 to provide an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world of the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the lives it supports.

According to him, nature is suffering. Oceans are filling with plastic and turning more acidic.

“Extreme heat, wildfires and floods have affected millions and we are still facing COVID-19, a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.

“We are wreaking havoc on our own home – the only home we have, the one home we all share,” Shahid told an interactive dialogue on Harmony with Nature.

He encouraged the international community to accept responsibility for its reckless behaviour, noting that science had shown that.

“Our continued and careless encroachment into the world’s ecosystems has damaged biodiversity and endangered human health and well-being,” he said.

The 2022 theme of the Day “Harmony with Nature and Biodiversity: Ecological economics and Earth-centered law,” he said called for a shift to green economies.

“Let us embrace education, technology, and science that helps safeguard a healthy planet for everyone, including the young people who will inherit this planet,” he underscored.

The senior UN official said the international community needed to use the tools and targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as blueprints for a sustainable recovery from COVID-19.  (NAN)