At the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro held in June 1992, which witnessed the birth of the Convention on Biological Diversity, former Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa stated Â“Our joint endeavor to protect the global environment has just been launched. The real challenge is how we can translate our political will here in Rio into future actions to save the Earth. However steep the climb may be, we must move forward.Â” Eighteen years later, the need to translate political commitments into concrete action is just as pressing. As Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara stated at the High-Level Event on Biodiversity of the recent UN General Assembly, "for the future generations to inherit the benefits of nature, it is imperative that we specifically indicate collective actions over the next 10 years.Â”
Declining amphibian populations, dwindling fish stocks, waning ocean biodiversity, loss of forests...All scientists acknowledge that the rate of species loss is greater now than at any time in human history.
Fifteen years after the Rio Earth Summit later, the consequences of the changes made by humans to Earth\'s natural systems have never been clearer, write Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Climate Change. In this article, the authors write that climate change is now recognized as an issue of extreme global importance. This year\'s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) served to remove lingering doubts about the human role in global warming. As a result, in the last few months there has been a sea change in international public and political awareness and resolve to take action. Equally important but still less prominent in the public eye and on the political agenda is the continuing loss of biodiversity, which is a significant threat to human well-being. In terms of the intergovernmental climate change process, this year is critical for moving parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change towards the next phase of multilateral climate change abatement. A strong framework needs to be in place by 2010 to ensure that there is no gap between the end of the Kyoto Protocol\'s first commitment period in 2012 and the entry into force of a future regime. A comprehensive agenda on the future needs to be agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Bali in December this year. A new global alliance for life on Earth is urgently needed. We can no longer afford to miss any opportunity to turn the objectives of the Rio Earth Summit of fifteen years ago into practical action that will safeguard the planet\'s life support systems. We owe this to ourselves, to our children, to future generations, and to life on Earth.
Biodiversity is what sustains life on Earth, but we are on the verge of the sixth mass extinction of species in the planet's history, Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, told Tierramérica.
On the eve of World Biodiversity Day, May 22, in a conversation with correspondent Stephen Leahy, Djoghlaf underscored that climate change is creating conditions to which plant and animal life cannot react to quickly enough. In turn, the loss of species will aggravate global warming, creating a vicious cycle.