UN chief calls for renewed efforts to protect global ecosystems
www.chinaview.cn 2009-05-23 10:31:58   Print

    UNITED NATIONS, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The spread of non-native species is harming ecosystems, livelihoods and economies around the world, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday in a message to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity, calling for renewed effort to protect life on earth.

    Ban said the global decline in biodiversity "remains alarming, despite agreement at the (2002) World Summit on Sustainable Development to significantly reduce the rate of loss by 2010," citing deforestation, habitat changes and land degradation, often linked to climate change's growing impact, as the main drivers of biodiversity loss.

    But another threat, which is the focus of this year's observance of the International Day, is the spread of invasive alien species, he said.

    "An unwanted by-product of globalization, non-native species, is harming ecosystem services, livelihoods and economies throughout the world," Ban said, adding that the implications for poverty reduction and sustainable development are "profound."

    In his message, Ban highlighted the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is addressing the threat of invasive alien species by setting global priorities and guidelines, sharing information and expertise, and helping to coordinate international action.

    "The most cost-effective and feasible method of control is prevention," Ban stated, noting that a successful strategy will require collaboration among governments, economic sectors and non-governmental and international organizations.

    "A country can only prevent invasions if it knows which species may invade, where they may come from and the best management options for dealing with them," he said.

    Ban also urged individuals to share their due responsibility. "Abiding by local and international quarantine and customs regulations will prevent the spread of insect pests, weeds and diseases. A simple rule applies: leave living organisms in their natural habitats and bring home only memories," he said.

    Also marking the day, General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann said that "it is not too late to take individual and collective measures, to respond to biodiversity loss in order to protect and sustain our daily needs and maintain our livelihoods."

Special Report: Fight against Global Warming

Editor: Xiong Tong
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