Remarks by Ms Beate Trankmann at International Biodiversity Day 2023 Celebration Event

May 22, 2023

UNDP Resident Representative in China Beate Trankmann speaks at event to celebrate 2023 Biodiversity Day in Kunming

尊敬的黄润秋部长 (Minister Huang Runqiu),

王宁书记 (Secretary Wang Ning),

赵英民副部长 (Deputy-Director Zhao Yingmin),

各位领导,女士们,先生们    早上好 (Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning),

我非常高兴 再次来到 美丽的彩云之滇 (dian) 的昆明出席2023 国际生物多样性日庆祝 (qingzhu) 活动。

I’m delighted to be here in Kunming to join you in celebrating the 2023 International Day for Biological Diversity.

Of the estimated 100 billion planets within our galaxy, only one has been discovered which is capable of sustaining life – our own.

The earth is a cosmic miracle which has given birth to millions of species including humankind. 

But this miracle is a fragile one, and it is under threat. 10 million hectares of forest are destroyed each year. 2/3 of the planet’s oceans are now impacted by humans. And by the end of today as every day, another 200 species will have gone extinct.

Last December, the COP15 biodiversity summit, presided over by China, was successfully concluded in Montreal. In a critical alignment of global priorities, the "Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)" was endorsed by all parties. 23 targets and over 60 resolutions were adopted to protect nature and help secure the future of humanity and the planet.

But this framework is only a guiding blueprint to establish what the world must collectively strive to achieve. In order to see real change, this needs to translate into action.

Indeed, that is why the theme of this year’s biodiversity day is "From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity". In the next decade, actions must be accelerated to address our multiple planetary crises with a rapid pivot from agreement to implementation.

In particular, the connection between biodiversity conservation and climate action must continue to be strengthened and underpin policy decisions, as they are two sides of the same coin. Healthy ecosystems are not only home to millions of species of plants and wildlife, but can also absorb emissions by acting as carbon sinks. To solve the climate crisis, we have to work together with nature, not against it.

In addition, we have to put our money where our mouth is. $824 billion is needed annually to sustain biodiversity, but currently, the world only directs $142 billion towards conservation efforts. That’s just around 0.1% of global GDP. We need to do better!

The 1.5 billion RMB Kunming Biodiversity Fund established by China during the first part of COP15 to support conservation efforts in developing countries, is a step in the right direction. But we urgently need more initiatives such as this all around the world if we are to close the massive biodiversity funding gap.

At UNDP, we are working globally to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through our Nature Pledge, we are committed to supporting countries across the globe to turn the GBF blueprint into reality, and put nature at the heart of sustainable development.

For example, last year, in cooperation with other UN agencies, we launched three global programmes to support more than 138 countries in updating their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAP) in line with the GBF, and accelerate resource mobilization.

(Our global Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), also works to increase the amount of public and private financing for conservation and nature-positive investments).

Here in China, we are proud of our joint achievements in biodiversity protection fostered together with government partners at both national and local level, over more than four decades. 

UNDP stands ready to continue building on this collective work, and to leverage our global network and expertise in support of implementing the GBF in China.

In closing, let me express my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) and the Government of Yunnan Province for organizing today’s event, as well as your commitment to the protection of China's vibrant ecosystems, helping to sustain a healthy environment in which biodiversity can flourish.

With only 7 years remaining to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, what we do to protect nature will determine the future of people and planet. 

With the GBF, we have a plan  in place. Now is the time to turn it into reality through concrete actions. 

让我们携手保护生生不息的星球,人与自然 和谐共生,永世相传!

Together, we can ensure that our miracle of a planet can thrive, and support both humanity, and all species, for generations to come.