International Day for Biological Diversity 2023 – Statement by Amy Fraenkel, CMS Executive Secretary
“From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity” is this year’s theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity.
The theme reminds us of the incredible achievement this past December, when the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework – the GBF – was adopted. At the same time, the theme underlines the need for countries to move quickly to take the actions necessary to achieve the GBF's ambitious goals and targets.
Many priorities of the Convention on Migratory Species – CMS – are at the heart of the GBF. Implementing the GBF will help address many key conservation needs and threats to migratory species. Likewise, implementing CMS will directly contribute to the implementation of many aspects of the GBF.
One such key priority is the need for governments to greatly increase their focus on protecting and restoring ecological connectivity. Ecological connectivity is vital for healthy, functioning ecosystems. And it is essential for migratory species, which rely on a network of specific types of sites and habitats during their life cycles and as part of their seasonal movements. Migratory species must be able to reach these sites, which are often located across national boundaries.
Connectivity is a core part of Target 3 – which calls for countries to protect 30 per cent of their natural areas. The target requires that protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures are well-connected systems of conserved areas.
Connectivity is also part of the Target 2 on restoration, which calls for at least 30 per cent of areas of degraded ecosystems to be under effective restoration by 2030 – in order to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, ecological integrity, and connectivity.
Another major priority for CMS in the GBF are the numerous targets aimed at ensuring that wild species of animals are conserved, that extinctions are halted and that extinction risk is significantly reduced. Under Target 5, Parties are to ensure that the use, harvesting and trade of wild species is sustainable, safe and legal, preventing overexploitation. Implementation of this Target will require increased attention to the ongoing illegal and unsustainable taking of wild species for domestic purposes, including for direct consumption, sale, sport and culling of species viewed as pests.
Now that global biodiversity priorities have been agreed with the adoption of the GBF, we must move quickly to implementation. We have no time to waste.
Happy International Day for Biological Diversity!
Watch Amy Fraenkel’s full statement on YouTube.