COP 15 to be held in China’s Kunming next year

Photo shows a view of the rain forest in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan province. By Shao Bin/People's Daily Online

The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) is scheduled to be held between May 17 to 30 the next year in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan province. The goals and methods of, as well as the cooperation on biological diversity, once again become a hotspot international issue.

Biological diversity is a broad concept that describes the variety of the nature. It includes landscape diversity, ecological diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity.

In recent years, the concept gradually expanded to human and cultural level, and ecological civilization has been put under protection mechanism.

Last September, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity jointly unveiled the theme of the COP15 – “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”. The theme aims at guiding global ecological civilization, and stresses that human and nature belong to a community with a shared future. It holds that people shall respect, conform to and protect nature, and shall work to realize sustainable use and benefit sharing of biological diversity, as well as the Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature by 2050.

China is one of the most biodiversity-rich countries in the world, and is home to all types of terrestrial ecosystems, including forest, bush, meadow, grassland, desert and wet land. Besides, it also possesses marine ecosystems in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea. Meanwhile, as an important source of rice and soybeans, China also boasts rich biological genetic resources. It ranks first in terms of plant cultivation and animal domestication.

China ranks eighth among the 12 mega-biodiverse countries in the world. Other countries include Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Yunnan province has various natural landscapes and a complete ecosystem ranging from tropical valley to alpine frigid zone. Housing rare, special and ancient species, it is known as a key area of biodiversity that bears global significance. That’s why it has become the host for the COP15.

In Sept. 2010, the United Nations General Assembly at its 65th session declared the period 2011-2020 to be the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, hoping member states to take actions for realizing biodiversity goals by 2020.

China is one of the earliest countries to join the Convention on Biological Diversity, and it took the lead to establish a national committee for biodiversity conservation for the planning of its biodiversity protection. It released an implemented the China National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2030), as well as an action plan for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. The country’s local governments and departments also incorporated biodiversity conservation into relevant planning.

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng presided over a meeting of China National Committee for Biodiversity Conservation on Feb. 13, 2019. He stressed that biodiversity is a foundation of human survival and development. To enhance biodiversity conservation is an important part of ecological civilization, as well as a vital engine driving high-quality development. Noting that the COP15 will be held in China, he urged relevant departments to make full preparation and fulfill the responsibilities of a host country, so as to hold a successful meeting that has milestone significance.

Ecological experts believe that the theme of the COP15 bears significant importance, as it will guide the international society to foster a strong political will to protect biodiversity, advance global ecological civilization, help realize sustainable use and benefit sharing of biological diversity, and reach the Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature by 2050. Meanwhile, China will also contribute its wisdom and power at the meeting to the conservation and sustainable development of global biodiversity.

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