UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 22 (UPI) — The U.N. secretary-general says a rescue package like that introduced after the global financial crisis is needed to halt the worldwide loss of biodiversity.
At a high-level General Assembly event on biodiversity held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Ban Ki-moon said biodiversity loss was resulting in a heavy human cost, a U.N. release reported.
“We are bankrupting our natural economy,” Ban said.
The UN Environment Program says ecosystems — and the biodiversity that underpins them — generate services worth trillions of dollars, supporting livelihoods around the world.
Calling ecosystems “our natural capital,” Ban said that a loss of biodiversity could lead to the failure of crops, a drop in profits, a deepening of poverty and economic decline.
“Allowing [our natural infrastructure] to decline is like throwing money out of the window,” he said.
Although investment to reverse biodiversity decline has increased, the main causes of the decline — high consumption rates, habitat loss, pollution and climate change — are not being fully addressed, Ban said.
He called on world leaders to commit to reducing biodiversity loss.
“This will be your legacy — your gift for generations to come,” he said.
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