United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

United Nations Decade on Biodiversity
ST A TEMENT BY
CRISTIAN A P ASCA PALMER
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
AT THE
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 14: CONSERVE AND SUSTAINABLY
USE THE OCEANS, SEAS AND MARINE RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT
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environment
United Nations
Environment Prognamme
Convention on
Biological Diversity
New York, 7 June 2017
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
United Nations Environment Programme
413 Saint-Jacques Street, Suite 800, Montreal, QC, H2Y 1 N9, Canada
Tel: +1 514 288 2220 Fax : +1 514 288 6588
secretariat@cbd.int www.cbd.int ro"rffl'mrt
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Your Excellencies Mr. Bainimarama and Ms. Lovin,
As it is my first time taking the floor, I would like to express my sincere
congratulations to both of you for assuming the Presidency roles for this
Conference. I am confident that your vision and leadership will steer all of us at
this Conference to a successful outcome.
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,
In the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 14, States have taken a historic
and much-needed step towards a more sustainable future for the ocean and the
life therein. And, in the organization of this Conference, States have clearly
acknowledged that the achievement of Goal 14 will require concerted political
will, investment, engagement and collaboration across all sectors and levels of
society. Now, we have before us the enormous task of translating these words
into action.
Goal 14 addresses the various elements of sustainability of the ocean and its
resources. It highlights the main threats to the ocean. It points to the tools to
mitigate these threats as well as means to ensure sustainable benefit from the
ecosystem services that the ocean provides. However, it is critical that we do not
lose sight of the cross-cutting linkages between these different elements of Goal
14, and across the Sustainable Development Goals as a whole.
Biodiversity is an essential cross-cutting element. Marine biodiversity, the variety
of life in the ocean and seas, is a critical aspect of all three pillars of sustainable
development. It supports the healthy functioning of the planet and provides
services that underpin the health, well-being and prosperity of humanity.
Marine biodiversity ensures the foundation for the vast majority of the services
that the ocean provides, but it is also the most sensitive and threatened part of
the ocean. Pressures that adversely impact marine biodiversity undermine the
services that we need to survive and thrive. Furthermore, the consequences of
biodiversity loss are often most severe for the poor, who are extremely
dependent on local ecosystem services for their livelihoods and nutrition. Thus, in
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neglecting biodiversity, we are undermining efforts to address poverty, hunger,
health and other basic elements of human well-being.
This is why it is critical that the crucial role of biodiversity across each of the Goal
14 targets and across all of the Sustainable Development Goals is captured in the
Call for Action.
Distinguished delegates,
The issues and priorities that we address here are not new. Concerns over the
drastic declines in biodiversity are what motivated the development of the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 24 years ago. Its three complementary
objectives for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its
components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of
genetic resources were conceived as a way to ensure that biological diversity is at
the heart of sustainable development. With 196 Parties, participation in the
Convention is nearly universal, a sign that our global society is well aware of the
need to work together to ensure the survival of life on Earth.
Many of the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets, reflect the same
goals and principles agreed to under the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which were
adopted by Parties to the CBD in 2010. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets represent a
landmark political achievement, catalysing an enormous amount of support,
political will, and investment.
Efforts to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets have helped to advance tools and
approaches for conservation and sustainable use, and have demonstrated clear
positive impacts. For example, the adoption of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 on
protected areas catalyzed the significant expansion of marine protected area
coverage, which has doubled in the last 7 years, and, I am pleased to announce
that we are on track to achieve the global Aichi Biodiversity Target of 10%
conservation of costal and marine areas by 2020. There is still a need however, to
focus on other aspects of the Target, specifically on representativeness,
management effectiveness, governance and equity of marine protected areas.
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!.
Goal 14 provides a critical opportunity to utilize and build on the political will,
commitments and experience gained through progress towards the Aichi
Biodiversity Targets. In this regard, I am pleased to invite all of you to attend the
various side events being convened or co-convened by the Secretariat together
with various partners from States and organizations on different themes of Goal
14.
Distinguished delegates,
Biodiversity, very simply, is life. The global community has made great strides to
commit to climate action and to ocean action. However, without biodiversity, the
ocean has no life. Thus, as we engage in saving the ocean, we must also commit
to biodiversity action.
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity stands ready to support
your deliberations and will continue to support governments and organizations in
efforts to achieve a healthy, sustainable and productive ocean for the present and
future generations.
Thank you for your attention.
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