Hon. Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, is leading a delegation from various ministries and non-governmental organizations, participating virtually, at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity from October 11 to 15, 2021.
In his national statement delivered virtually today, Minister Habet noted that, “When confronted with realities of increasing debt and struggling social programs, it is now time for nations such as Belize, which have invested heavily in conservation strategies, to benefit socioeconomically from our efforts.”
Hon. Habet further expressed that, “The economic constraints and challenges faced by Belize and many other developing countries highlight the critical need for targeted and sustained support from developed countries through the provision of financial and technological support for the effective implementation of the goals and targets set out in the ambitious Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework as well as sustainable growth.”
Some highlights from the Conference of the Parties (COP) thus far include China’s establishment of the Kunming Biodiversity Fund and its capitalization of ¥1.5 billion (approximately US$233 million) which will be used to support biodiversity protection in developing countries. Germany also pledged €600 million toward global biodiversity management and anticipates funding between 13 to 30 nature parks in developing countries.
The National Biodiversity Office has been the lead in coordinating the review of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework as well as the multi-stakeholder delegation at the Conference of the Parties.
Mrs. Hannah St. Luce-Martinez, director of the National Biodiversity Office, stated that, “The COP is an important opportunity to feature our conservation milestones and ensure that Belize remains an active voice in global conservation negotiations, having recognized the integral role of biodiversity in our sustainable development pathway and economic recovery plan.”
The Convention on Biological Diversity, governed by the Conference of the Parties, was ratified by Belize in 1993. The parties meet every two years to review progress, set biodiversity priorities and commit to work plans. It also serves as an opportunity for Belize and other parties to build strategic partnerships, leverage resources and discuss challenges relating to the implementation of biodiversity strategic plan.
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