3 March 2020 - 9:30-12:00 - Palais des Nations - Room XIV (Cinéma)
On 20 December 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival.
The year 2020, known as a “biodiversity super year”, will host several major global events that place biodiversity at the forefront of the global sustainable development agenda. It provides a unique opportunity to deliver transformative progress for the conservation and sustainable use of the species of wild animals and plants in response to global sustainable development challenges that can best be addressed with nature-based solutions.
The theme of World Wildlife Day 2020, “Sustaining all life on earth”, encompasses all wild animal and plant species as a component of biodiversity as well as the livelihoods of people, especially those who live closest to the nature. It also underlines the importance of sustainable use of natural resources in support of the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Goal 14 (Life Below Water), Goal 15 (Life on Land), Goal 1 (No Poverty) and Goal 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns).
In Geneva, a special event to celebrate the day co-organized by the CITES Secretariat, within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, took place at Palais des Nations.
The Secretariats of CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Jackson Wild teamed up to organize an international film showcase highlighting wildlife as an important component of biological diversity and how its conservation and sustainable use will help reduce the risk of unprecedented extinctions from overexploitation.
The Film Showcase is one of the global events that anchors this year’s UN World Wildlife Day. Winners and finalist films entered into the competition will be shown throughout 2020, around the world and at various major events.
Moderator: Juan Carlos VASQUEZ MURILLO, Chief, Legal Affairs & Compliance, CITES Secretariat
Biodiversity loss, wildlife conservation, people and sustainable use
Followed by Questions & Answers
Film screening of a selected film or films from the finalists of World Wildlife Day 2020
Film Showcase organized in partnership with Jackson Wild
The event was live on facebook.
Photos © UNEP/GEN, Malou Lenoir.
David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
H.E. Amb. Santiago Wills-Valderrama, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Colombia to the WTO
Q1: The SR mentioned some months ago that he was collecting information for a report on human rights obligations related to climate change, knowing that the questions of climate change and of biodiversity are connected, how will those questions be linked?
David Boyd: Several governments declared a climate emergency, we are also in a nature emergency.Estimations are that 1 million species are at risk of extinction. 20 years ago, the main threats to biodiversity were habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution, ozone depletion and invasive species; nowadays, climate change is a leading threat to biodiversity. Need for rapid, systemic and transformative change. Impacts of climate change on human rights, together with impacts of biodiversity loss on human rights will be disastrous for peoples. Push the UN to recognize the right to a healthy environment.
Q2: What is the probability of having a successful outcome of the negotiations on fisheries subsidies by the WTO meeting in Kazakhstan in June 2020?
H.E. Amb. Santiago Wills-Valderrama: I would hesitate to give a percentage of positive outcome. About to take a crucial decision in the next weeks. I remain cautious. I won’t claim that in only 6 months as chair I will bring the negotiations to a success after 18 years. Negotiations at the WTO are member-driven. I remain optimistic.
Biodiversity loss, wildlife conservation, people and sustainable use
Moderated by: Juan Carlos Vasquez Murillo, Chief, Legal Affairs & Compliance, CITES Secretariat
Maricela Muñoz, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the UN in Geneva
Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Jane Smart, Global Director, IUCN
Matthew Kilgarriff, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Richemont International SA
David Boyd: Consistent message today that involves climate change, biodiversity and pollution. Common cause in importance of taking innovative steps. All need to move in the same direction to protect nature and Earth.
Q3, Permanent Mission of the UK: As hosts of COP26, the UK is putting nature and nature-based solutions at the heart of that event. Also, the UK is re-examining the Overseas Assistance Programme to put climate and biodiversity conservation more embedded in those. What are your suggestions on that topic?
Q4, Permanent Mission of France: Most of the actors are in harmony to face the global crises which are a climate crisis and a biodiversity crisis. The link between climate and biodiversity were not so clear years ago. The big multi-stakeholder event of the IUCN World Congress in Marseille will be a meeting where regulators, civil society, private sector, academia can interact. We all agree but we do not know how to do that, and we do not know how to face the contradictions of different actors. Additionally, cities, where 70% of people live now in Europe, must have a central role in sustainability, ecology and nature.
Q5, Permanent Mission of Mozambique: We would like to share good practices in our regional framework related to wildlife conservation. From the legal perspective, in 1999 the SADC Protocol on the conservation and oversight of wildlife entered into force, and was aimed at sustainable development, ecosystem and wildlife conservation, fight against poaching, sustainable land use. The government has tried to strengthen the legal system to protect wildlife and fight against poaching.
Q6: The post-2020 framework is going to be hosted by the CBD, but what is, you think, the role of the Un in the implementation of said framework?
Martha Rojas Urrego: Climate change and biodiversity are critical as well as nature-based solutions. To make it possible to link the two and advance on the agenda, we should make sure that biodiversity be included in the NDCs. The potential of wetlands is still not fully exploited.
The Ramsar Convention is not exclusively a conservation convention, it also addressed wise and sustainable use for sustainable development. Phenomenal change in the relationship between private sector and sustainability: from CSR to embedding it in the business model.
Important to link to SDG 5 on women empowerment and gender equality in terms of water, biodiversity and land management. Women are actors, not only impacted by biodiversity loss.
Jane Smart: At the IUCN World Congress in Marseille, we will be having a private sector summit, at youth summit, an indigenous peoples’ summit. We need to develop a means of measuring commitments to biodiversity targets, so to be able to break them now by country or by sector and to compare. We need youth and people living in cities to stand up and make their voices heard. IUCN is using special data to work out the threats to a specific environment and then create a target to achieve based on the data.
Maricela Muñoz: It is important that the UK, as a developed country, has this concern about embedding biodiversity in the development context. It will be a powerful platform for developing countries to raise the level of commitment. Human rights-based approach essential for decisions and for NDCs. There are still unsolved parts of the Paris Agreement, the loss and damage mechanism, the Gender Action Plan and the capacity-building mechanism. IUCN World Congress focus on cities is essential: we need to look at new ways of consumption. In terms of the role of the UN in the post-2020 agenda, we all are the UN, as citizens, governments, private sector, and we all play a role.
Matthew Kilgarriff: There are coalitions at work in the business area so that the private sector can speak with one voice. The Global Compact, chaired by the UN SG, moved from human rights to sustainability, mitigation and adaptation. Even inside the Global Compact there are many voices, speaking with one voice is difficult.
David Boyd: Nature needs CPR: Connection, Protection and Restoration. Connection, related to the fundamental dependence we have upon nature. Protection, related to the role of indigenous peoples and the need to protect 30% of the world. Restoration, related to the opportunity for jobs to restore ecosystems that capture carbon.