Speaking at the recent Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, IUCN’s President urged delegates to consider nature as real capital and a prerequisite for socio-economic development rather than an impediment to it.
Mr Zhang Xinsheng took part in the High Level Panel Session on Rio+20: From Outcome to Implementation and outlined IUCN’s contribution to the development of a set of universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Well managed, healthy and diverse ecosystems and the biological resources they encompass are indispensable for sustainable development. Nature can contribute solutions to global challenges in food, water and energy security, climate change, and poverty eradication,” he said.
Mr Zhang emphasized the importance of engaging the scientific community in the process of defining the SDGs and monitoring their implementation. He noted that the existing experts’ panels and platforms, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the newly-established Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) should be drawn upon, as well as inputs from all relevant knowledge systems, including those of indigenous and local communities.
“IUCN, with its global reach through its unique membership which encompasses governments as well as non-governmental organisations stands ready to work with UNEP and all governments to make the Sustainable Development Goals a robust framework that must be a vehicle to lead to the transformative change needed to protect and sustain life on Planet Earth, the home we all share.”
Alongside the UNEP Governing Council, Mr Zhang held meetings with a number of high level officials including government ministers from Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, and Fiji; as well as Heads of Delegation from China, Kenya and Indonesia. He also met the Executive Director of UN- Habitat, Dr Joan Clos.
During these meetings he presented IUCN’s new Programme and its relevance to global conservation and development challenges.
For more information, please contact Cyriaque Sendashonga, Global Director – IUCN Policy and Programme Group firstname.lastname@example.org