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UN chief calls for an escape from pollution, climate chaos and ‘biodiversity loss’

In a message marking Wednesday World Environment DayAntónio Guterres emphasized that Countries “must implement” about all their commitments to restore degraded ecosystems and lands, and about Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Frameworkglobal agreement to protect biodiversity.

“They must use their new national climate action plans to set out how to stop and reverse deforestation by 2030. And We must dramatically scale up financing to support developing countries to adapt to extreme weather, protect nature and support sustainable development.”

The UN chief further emphasized that timely and effective action makes economic sense.

“Every dollar invested in ecosystem restoration provides economic benefits of up to $30,” he said.

‘It’s time to escape’

The failure to curb widespread pollution, climate chaos and biodiversity destruction is clear to everyone. Healthy, fertile lands are turning into deserts, thriving ecosystems into dead zones, and carbon dioxide emissions are increasing.

“That means failing crops, disappearing water sources, weakening economies and communities at risk – with the poorest hit hardest… It’s time to get out.”

“We are the Recovery Generation. Together, let us build a sustainable future for our land and humanity,” he added.

Celebrated by millions around the world, World Environment Day has been celebrated annually since 1973 and has grown into the largest global platform for environmental outreach ever.

This year, the event is commemorated with the overarching theme of “land restoration, desertification and drought resilience”.

Solving the ‘three planet crisis’

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), called everyone Join the global movement of turning those words into action.

By restoring ecosystems, we can slow the triple planet crisis: the climate change crisis, the crisis of nature and biodiversity loss, including desertification, and the pollution and waste crisis.”

Additionally, by doing so, the world could move closer to limiting global temperature rise to the 2015 target. Paris Agreement by enhancing carbon storage and reducing poverty, in line with the target Sustainable development goals (SDG), she added.

Soil restoration can be the golden thread tying these together, tying action and ambition together across all three of these important gatherings.”

Anniversary event

Kicking off the celebrations in Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations regional development agency (ESCAPE) with UNEP will regroup key stakeholders to identify priority actions.

The broad solutions being discussed include the use of circular water resources, sustainable food production and resilient urban development.

Saudi Arabia is the host of the global celebration in 2024. The country will also host the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP16), the framework global solution to land degradation and desertification, in December.

Listen below to an exclusive interview with Makiko Yashiro, UNEP Coordinator for Nature Action in Asia and the Pacific, about the 2024 campaign

Special speech of the Secretary General of the United Nations

In New York, Secretary General António Guterres will give a special speech at the American Museum of Natural History on climate change on Wednesday morning local time, where he will offer some hard facts about the state of the climate.

He will also share new data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service. He will be joined by Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions Michael Bloomberg and Sean Decatur, President of the Museum.

The event is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. (New York time) on Wednesday, June 5. UN News will be on the scene to bring you the latest information. We will begin live coverage about an hour before the event.

Watch for special events at @UN_News_Centre on X, formerly Twitter, and on this site.


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