President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s address at the 14th Conference of UN Biological Diversity Convention
Monday، 19 November 2018 - 12:42 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you to Sharm el-Sheikh, the city of peace, that hosted, a few days ago, the World Youth Forum with the participation of more than five thousand youths from 160 countries to discuss the most important and vital issues for young people, including the environment issues.
Today, we are pleased to host, in the city of peace, this conference, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the enforcement of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to discuss one of the most important human issues in the present time; that is the biological diversity, on which Egypt attaches major importance, as we are aware of its value being a basic factor for achieving sustainable development and preserving natural resources for the coming generations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Man, since the dawn of history, has realized the importance of vital resources in the surrounding environment. The Egyptian civilization has represented a prominent example in this context. It has flourished over thousands of years, relying on its natural resources and it has achieved progress in several fields. The religious texts of the ancient Egyptians reflected their commitment to preserving the environment and respect for nature and wildlife. This reflects the awareness of the ancient Egyptians of the richness of the surrounding ecosystems and their role in their daily life.
As a continuation of this belief and because of the importance of preserving the natural environment, Egypt has set a developmental track that aims to achieve sustainable development and social justice, taking into consideration all environment dimensions. Hence, the Egyptian Constitution has laid down strong foundations for preserving and making optimum use of the natural resources of the country and protecting its seas, beaches, lakes, waterways, natural reserves and the Nile River. Moreover, it highlights the rational use of the natural resources and preserving the flora, animal, and fishery resources as well as protecting them from extinction or danger.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In spite of all efforts exerted since the adoption of the Biological Diversity convention in 1992, yet these efforts were not able to mobilize the international community to effectively address the ongoing deterioration of the biological diversity. They didn’t also succeed in realizing sustainable management of the natural resources.
This is attributed to our inability to merge subjects related to the biological diversity properly in all different human activities. This led us as an international community to deal with such issue in Nagoya biodiversity summit in 2010, which declared a world strategy to be in harmony with the environment and set defined objectives for implementation during the Global Decade for Biodiversity (2010-2020); as well as agreeing on the fundamental criteria for the international action represented in preserving the biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and just sharing of the benefits of the genetic resources use.
This conference comes at a time when the biodiversity is facing enormous challenges, accelerated degradation and its associated challenges which threaten the different ecosystems. Furthermore, if we add the negative effects of climate change, we will realize that we face the most dangerous challenges threatening the humanity in the modern age. The scientific studies mention that the human annual consumption of natural resources grows up 30% higher than that of the Earth’s ecosystems. Moreover, the UN Secretary-General’s report included alarming data about the implementation of the sustainable development targets for the year 2018. These alarming data showed clear deterioration in the ecosystems, on top of which are the forests rather than the extinction of a big number of the living organisms with 21% drop in the value of the official development aid related to biodiversity compared to 2015.
So, the theme of our conference “Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet” reflects our collective vision of the necessity to integrate biodiversity conservation into all walks of life. This shall contribute to preserving the natural resources and managing them in a sustainable way. This is the same orientation we all adopted in 2015 through the International Development Agenda for 2030 that included ecological aims and commitments for enhancing the international cooperation in the multilateral framework. To complete this orientation, Egypt has launched an initiative that integrates with the target of incorporation the biological diversity in various sectors through coordinating efforts and enhancing harmony between the Three-Rio Conventions concerned with climate change, desertification and biological diversity. In addition, Egypt seeks to find an integrated approach dealing with the lack of biological diversity and negative effects of climate change and land deterioration in order to integrate the efforts exerted in the three conventions through a number of procedures including promotion of cooperation among the partners and stakeholders with the civil society and the private sector as well as mobilizing a large number of technical, financial and qualitative pledges. In addition to establishing partnerships with the financing mechanisms of the Three-Rio Conventions and others that you will get acquainted with. We hope that such orientation will gain your support during the coming period.
Egypt asserted its intention to work with all parties in order to render this conference a success and ensure that its objectives are achieved, mainly increasing awareness of the biological diversity issue and the surrounding risks that threaten this diversity, in addition to the severe negative effects resulted from the ceaseless current deterioration. Therefore, we appreciate the necessity of the commitment of all parties concerned by conveying the incorporation process of the biological diversity to the various human activities sectors from the vision stage to policies and implementation stage.
In conclusion, allow me to express my sincere wishes for the success of this conference and reach its targets. I wish you all the best during your stay in your second country, Egypt.
Thank You and Peace Be Upon You