U.N. Convention on Biodiversity Convenes

NAGOYA, Japan, Oct. 18 (UPI) — The loss of global biodiversity is threatening human societies as well as the natural world, a United Nations convention in Japan has been told.

The warning came at the start of a two-week meeting in Nagoya of the U.N.’s Convention on Biological Diversity, the BBC reported Monday.

“[Buddhist scholar] Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki said ‘the problem of nature is the problem of human life’. Today, unfortunately, human life is a problem for nature,” Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the convention, told delegates in his opening speech.

An assessment by the United Nations earlier this year showed that living standards in some parts of the world were being affected by the loss and degradation of forests, coral reefs, rivers and other elements of the natural world.

“All life on Earth exists thanks to the benefits from biodiversity in the forms of fertile soil, clear water and clean air,” Japanese Environment Minister Ryo Matsumoto told the attendees.

“We are now close to a ‘tipping point’ — that is, we are about to reach a threshold beyond which biodiversity loss will become irreversible, and may cross that threshold in the next 10 years if we do not make proactive efforts for conserving biodiversity,” he said.

Delegates in Nagoya will be considering comprehensive agreement to tackle the underlying causes of biodiversity loss as well as setting new targets for conservation, the BBC reported.

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