China-proposed ecological philosophy gains recognition as Kunming Declaration adopted

(Xinhua) 10:09, October 14, 2021

The Kunming Declaration is adopted at the High-Level Segment of the first part of 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Oct. 13, 2021. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)

KUNMING, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Kunming Declaration was adopted Wednesday at the ongoing 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu declared the adoption of the declaration at the High-Level Segment of the first part of COP15.

"The declaration will send a powerful signal, showing the world our determination to solve the problem of biodiversity loss, and our stronger actions on the issues discussed at this high-level meeting," Huang said.

The Kunming Declaration is a political declaration and the main achievement of this conference. The declaration commits to ensuring the development, adoption and implementation of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework to reverse the current loss of biodiversity and ensure that biodiversity is put on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest, towards the full realization of the 2050 Vision of "Living in Harmony with Nature."

It declared that putting biodiversity on a path of recovery is a defining challenge of this decade, requiring strong political momentum to develop, the adoption and implementation of an ambitious and transformative post-2020 global biodiversity framework and putting forward the 17 commitments.

"The Kunming Declaration details some of the key elements needed for success: mainstreaming, redirection of subsidies, rule of law, full and effective participation of indigenous people and local communities," said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

"The Declaration points us in the right direction, with Parties committed to negotiate a post-2020 framework that is effective in bending the curve of biodiversity loss," she added.

The declaration took note of the theme of the UN Biodiversity Conference 2020: "Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth." Ecological civilization is a philosophy proposed by China.

The philosophy, first put forward at a national conference on ecological environment protection in 2018, comprises several principles including ensuring harmony between humans and nature and regarding a sound ecological environment as the most inclusive advantage to people's well-being. It also notes that mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts should be seen as part of a community of life, and the environment should be protected through the best possible institutional arrangements and under the strictest rule of law. China should also become deeply involved in global environmental governance to devise a worldwide solution for environmental protection and sustainable development.

Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said the Kunming Declaration is the first political document to embody the ecological civilization philosophy under the framework of the UN multilateral environmental agreement.

He said that given the many uncertainties facing the international community during the pandemic, it is all the more important for the international community to gather confidence, consensus, wisdom and strength.

"The declaration will play a leading role in the development and implementation of an ambitious, pragmatic and balanced post-2020 global biodiversity framework, providing the basis and political guidance for subsequent negotiations," Zhao said. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


Related Stories