Society 17:58 19/03/2021 World

UNESCO convenes protectors of biodiversity and launches global movement to safeguard planet

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, UNESCO is organizing a Biodiversity Forum with leading players committed to biodiversity (24 March, 1pm, Central European Time). The aim of the Forum is to influence international negotiations underway, UNESCO said in a press release on Thursday.

UNESCO, a custodian of knowledge and know-how concerning biodiversity, has been developing concrete solutions to environmental challenges for over 50 years in its network of protected sites covering nearly 6% of the planet.

"We are calling for a revolution: a complete overhaul of our relationship with nature and living things. This is a necessity for the survival of us all, because the health of humanity depends on the health of our environment and of the species with which we cohabit the planet," said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General.

High-level participants:

• Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO
• Antoine Arnault, LVMH Image & Environment
• Dr Jane Goodall DBE, Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, Patron of the 50th anniversary of MAB
• His Holiness, Pope Francis, through a message read by Mgr Francesco Follo, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to UNESCO
• Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, UNESCO Special Envoy for Science for Peace
• Professor Hoesung Lee, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
• Ana María Hernández Salgar, Chair, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
• Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General’s Envoy for the Ocean
• Jesse H. Ausubel, Director, Program for the Human Environment, Rockefeller University
• Basile Van Havre, Co-Chair of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
• Nicolas Hulot, Honorary President of La Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la nature et l'homme (The Nocolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Mankind);
• Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Representative of the indigenous peoples of Lake Chad, Sustainable Development Goals Advocate of the UN Secretary-General

In three sessions through the afternoon, participants will discuss the three major converging challenges facing the planet: biodiversity, climate and the health of the oceans.

The Director-General of UNESCO will open the forum and launch the celebration of the 50th anniversary of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme: A different way of living together on Earth.

• Facing the challenges: Climate, Biodiversity and the Ocean;
• The Ocean: Transforming knowledge, political, economic and citizen action for the ocean
• Passing on our capacity for action and transformation: on the road to Kunming (the city in China that will host COP15, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 11-25 October 2021).

UNESCO's ambition is that 100% of the world’s citizens become responsible for and protective of all life on our planet by 2030.

With 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries and 75 years of expertise, UNESCO wishes to share its expertise and open the debate on the range of solutions to overcome these challenges with all invited partners and support the youth movement for a safer, more just and sustainable world.

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