Interview of the Week, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity

This week the United Nations released its 5th Outlook on Global Biodiversity. We sat down with Tanzanian diplomat Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the UN Biodiversity Convention, to ask her about the report’s assessment that the world had failed to achieve the 2020 biodiversity goals and the prospect for achieving the ambitious target to set aside 30% of the planet for nature by 2030.  Here are some of the highlights of the interview.

On COVID-19 and Biodiversity:

“What is important with the COVID-19 pandemic is the wakeup call it we got from it because now it has shown the linkages and the relationship that humans have on nature.”

On the Failure to Reach the 2020 Targets:

“Even the few targets where there is progress, the scorecard shows less than 30% achieved.”

On Biodiversity and China’s Belt and Road Initiative:

“Mitigation of any likely impacts will be built as part of the investment and not come at the end when the project has begun. About 20 or more UN Agencies, funds and programs, including the UN Environment Program, are involved to ensure the social and environmental safeguards are part of that investment.”

On Biodiversity and Climate Change:

“What has basically been proven scientifically beyond a doubt is the interconnectedness between the climate crisis and biodiversity crisis.  Biodiversity provides climate change mitigation measures…even the climate community depend on nature for climate mitigation and adaptation.”

On Achieving the #30×30 Goal:

“Nature is for all of us.  You and me…all our actions have an impact on nature. We must ensure our footprint does not damage that precious nature we want to conserve.”

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