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Video message by Her Excellency Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, at the UN Summit on Biodiversity, September 30

30.09.2020 - Speech

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The destruction of the environment and climate change, and thus also the loss of biological diversity, are accelerating at a pace never seen before in the history of humankind. This poses a threat to our quality of life, economic systems and social cohesion. We have no choice now but to initiate or step up sustainable and effective measures to protect our vital natural resources.

We cannot afford to ignore this or to waste any more time.

I therefore very much welcome the UN’s decision to hold this Summit on Biodiversity so that we can agree on further steps. For next year at the COP 15 our task will be to adopt a new framework for the protection of biodiversity after 2020.

We need to turn the tide on a global scale. In 2019, the World Biodiversity Council set out what this would require. We have to expand protected areas, we have to restore ecosystems. In general, we have to use land and sea more sustainably and manage them in a more ecologically sound way.

By “we”, I mean all states. I’m therefore pleased that many states have already demonstrated their commitment to ambitious biodiversity protection by endorsing the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature presented recently. Germany is one of them. That is very important to me. We are thus also providing solid funding for our protective measures. For many years now, we have been making available 500 million euro annually for the protection of biodiversity around the world.

In addition, we want to work together with private donors to create a new instrument to finance protected areas: the Legacy Landscapes Fund.

It’s true that we face immense challenges. However, they will become ever greater if we don’t tackle them. And we have to do it – if not now, then when?!

Let’s be ambitious and take action! It’s up to all of us to make a difference! Thank you very much for your contribution!

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