The following speech by Xi Jinping, delivered at COP15 (the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity), details China’s progress over the past decade in biodiversity protection, including the establishment of a system of conservation red lines, a system of national parks, and the successful protection of a large array of rare and endangered species. Xi makes it clear that China is strongly committed to improving biodiversity and will continue to work hard on ecological protection.
The speech also highlights the importance of international cooperation; that “solidarity and cooperation is the only effective way to address global challenges” such as biodiversity protection and the Covid19 pandemic. Xi calls for greater support to be given to developing countries to allow them to build capacity in dealing with climate change and biodiversity. This is a salutary reminder, at a time when the major imperialist powers are promoting “decoupling” and adopting aggressive geopolitical stances – promoting their own narrow, hegemonic interests over the wellbeing and long-term viability of humanity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Chinese government and people, and also in my own name, I would like to extend warm congratulations to the convening of today’s meeting.
Humanity lives in a community with a shared future. Be it in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, or in enhancing biodiversity protection and achieving sustainable development globally, solidarity and cooperation is the only effective way to address global challenges. A sound ecosystem is essential for the prosperity of civilization. We must work together to promote harmonious co-existence between man and Nature, build a community of all life on the Earth, and create a clean and beautiful world for us all.
— We need to build global consensus on biodiversity protection, jointly work for the conclusion of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and identify targets and pathways for global biodiversity protection.
— We need to push forward the global process of biodiversity protection, turn ambitions into action, support developing countries in capacity-building, and coordinate efforts to address climate change, biodiversity loss and other global challenges.
— We need to promote green development through biodiversity protection, speed up the green transition of development modes and lifestyle, and leverage the Global Development Initiative (GDI) to deliver greater benefits to people of all countries.
— We need to uphold a fair and equitable global order on biodiversity protection, firmly defend true multilateralism, firmly support the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, and form strong synergy for protecting the Earth, our common homeland.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China has made active efforts to promote ecological progress and biodiversity protection. We have continuously strengthened biodiversity mainstreaming, applied a system of ecological conservation red lines, established a protected areas system with national parks as the mainstay, carried out major biodiversity protection projects, and conducted most stringent enforcement and supervision. A large number of rare and endangered species have been placed under effective protection, and the diversity, stability and sustainability of the ecosystem have kept improving. We have found a path of biodiversity protection with Chinese characteristics.
Going forward, China will continue to advance ecological progress, and plan its development in the context of promoting harmonious co-existence between man and Nature. We will respond to the Action Plan for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and launch a large number of key projects on biodiversity protection and restoration. We will deepen international exchanges and cooperation, and support international forums on biodiversity. We will do our best to provide support and assistance to fellow developing countries through the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC) and the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, so as to elevate global biodiversity governance to a new height.
As an old Chinese saying goes, “All living things should flourish without harming each other; all ways of life should thrive without hindering each other.” Let us work together to open a new chapter in building a community of all life on the Earth and create a bright future of harmonious co-existence between man and Nature.
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