NAIROBI, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The international community can leverage on China's ecological stewardship to revitalize conservation of biodiversity amid threats linked to a warming planet and human activities, head of UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Thursday, ahead of World Environment Day to be marked on June 5.
Inger Andersen, executive director of the UNEP, said that China's track record in nature conservation that has been accompanied by rapid economic growth should serve as an inspiration to community of nations in their quest to protect biodiversity hotspots from harm.
"China has done a lot of very important work domestically on environment, including turning around what was 15 to 20 years ago, largely decreasing population of pandas," Andersen said during an online interview with Xinhua.
"What we would like to see now is China really showing the way in global leadership to help other countries come to a strong and viable new agreement on protecting nature," She added.
She said the 2020 World Environment Day whose theme is biodiversity will serve as a clarion call for governments, corporations and multilateral institutions to rally behind efforts to protect ecosystems that underpin human survival.
Andersen said that the health of biodiversity globally has been declining in recent years, adding that a robust multilateral system with China at the driver's seat, is key to reversing the worrying trend.
"The state of biodiversity is not where we would like to have it. So we can do more as a global community and look forward to the next Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in Kunming, China, and hope the world will agree on stronger commitments to protect species," said Andersen.
She said that China hosting the global biodiversity summit will be a reaffirmation of Beijing's commitment to providing leadership that is required to restore ecosystems and advance green development.
"We are very pleased that China has volunteered to be the host of the 15th Conference of Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity. We look forward to China's leadership in COP 15, and to the realization of ambitious targets to protect habitats," said Andersen.
She said that China's ability to strike a balance between economic development and ecosystems protection should be emulated to help heal a planet grappling with climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.
Andersen highlighted China's program of restoring degraded ecosystems, adding that the ecological civilization model espoused by Beijing could serve as a template for guiding the global biodiversity conservation agenda.
"Ecological civilization plays a significant part in Chinese direction," said Andersen.
"And we look forward to that strategic direction forming a part of the global direction, where we need an ecological balance with our planet," she added.
Andersen said the international community looks forward to tangible commitments that could inject vitality in the global biodiversity conservation agenda during the meeting in Kunming, capital city of southwest China's Yunnan Province. Enditem