European Commission launches global coalition for biodiversity

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On the occasion of the World Wildlife Day (3 March 2020), the European Commission launched a new global coalition for biodiversity conservation in Monaco. The Commission is calling on all world national parks, aquariums, botanic gardens, zoos, science and natural history museums to join forces and boost public awareness about the nature crisis, ahead of the crucial CoP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming (China) in October 2020. During CoP15, the 196 Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity are expected to adopt a new global framework to protect and restore nature, as much-needed as the Paris Agreement focusing on the climate crisis.

It is crucial that all of us learn just how real the nature crisis has become. We urgently need to take global action to protect and restore biodiversity.

said the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginius Sinkevičius, adding: “Otherwise much of the nature we love, and depend on for our food, health, and economy, is in danger of disappearing forever. Like me and my family, millions of people visit natural history museums, botanic gardens, national parks and similar institutions every day. With their collections, education and conservation programmes, they are the best ambassadors to raise public awareness about the crisis looming over all of us, if we do not act now. If our only chance of seeing a species is in these institutions, then we will all have failed.”

What can Protected Areas do?

World protected areas, aquariums, botanic gardens, zoos, science and natural history museums are being asked to now intensify their communication actions about biodiversity. This means displaying a common message at their entrance, but also engaging in educational and other activities related to the protection and restoration of biodiversity in all its forms. Welcomed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), this new bigger coalition will be organized by the European Commission.

Common message to be displayed

The Commission also encourages national, regional and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, businesses, scientists and individual citizens to play their part in raising awareness ahead of the UN Biodiversity Summit.  Following the Summit, the focus of the coalition will be on coordinated actions with tangible impact aimed at bending the curve of biodiversity loss.

This new coalition will complement the highly successful coalition of “World aquariums #ReadyToChange to #BeatPlasticPollution” launched in 2017, which gathered more than 200 aquariums in 41 countries to raise global awareness about marine litter.

Thus, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco hosted the ceremony, to mark both this launch and the handover of direction of the Aquariums coalition from the European Commission to UNEP under the Clean Seas campaign.

The event took place with the active participation of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, and Inger Andersen, United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director. During the ceremony, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco announced that the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco will be the first to officially pledge its support for the new coalition “United for #Biodiversity”.