More than half of the global GDP is generated by natural resources, and more than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for survival; these facts highlight the significance of biodiversity for human progress. UN figures suggest that 97% of the Earth's environment has been damaged; thus, this threat must be taken seriously.
On Thursday, at the opening of the high-level segment of the second part of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Biodiversity Diversity (COP15), Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech via video link, urging the international community to respond collectively to climate change and biodiversity loss.
Xi has stated that as a collective, we must finish the post-2020 global framework on biodiversity and establish goals and routes for biodiversity protection worldwide.
Through the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC), China aims to assist other developing nations in modernizing global biodiversity policy, as stated by President Xi.
To demonstrate that China will do its utmost to assist developing nations in protecting biodiversity, he also referenced the Kunming Biodiversity Fund in his speech.
China's intention to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, with investments of 1.5 billion yuan (approximately US$215 million), was announced by Xi at the COP15 leaders' conference in Kunming, Yunnan Province, in October of last year.
China has a long history of supporting global initiatives to preserve biodiversity. It was an early supporter of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), signing on in 1993 and ratifying in 1994, and its contribution to the CBD's operating budget has increased annually since 2019.
The Biodiversity Conservation White Paper states that China has helped more than 80 developing nations protect their natural resources through cooperation.
In recent years, China has prioritized the integrated conservation and methodical restoration of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, and deserts, as well as constructing a national park-based nature reserve system.
Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park and Giant Panda National Park were among the first national parks to be established last year, with more in the works. The ecological protection lines have been hailed as a groundbreaking approach to environmental preservation on a global scale. The bulk of rare and endangered species and their habitats are safeguarded inside these borders, encompassing areas crucial to the environment's operation or environmentally sensitive.
According to a white paper titled "Biodiversity Conservation in China," published by the Information Office of the State Council in 2021, this trend has resulted in the expansion of wildlife habitats and the growth of animal populations in China.
For example, in the last 40 years, the natural population of giant pandas has expanded from 1,114 to 1,864. While this is happening, the number of crested ibises has climbed from seven in the 1980s to more than 5,000 now, and the number of Hainanese gibbons, the world's rarest and most endangered gibbon species, has increased from ten in the 1980s to at least 36 today.
According to the white paper, almost 18% of China's total land area is protected as natural reserves.
China's ecosystems are already more diverse and sustainable than ever, and this trend will continue. @via cgtn.