UNEP sounds alarm over loss of wildlife, natural resources


NAIROBI, Feb 24  : The world risks losing wildlife and natural resources if advice by experts is not acted upon promptly, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Wednesday.

The world must start to make peace with nature to prevent catastrophic events from happening in the future, Inger Andersen, UNEP executive director, said on the sidelines of the fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5).

“If we don’t take advice seriously, then the future generation will not see the big rhinos and other animal species,” Andersen told journalists at the event.

She urged global leaders to hasten commitments made at global initiatives such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and promote actions that are less greenhouse gas intensive compared to prevailing alternatives.

“Recall the agreed goals that were set in 2010 and earmarked for implementation for delivery in 2020 but are yet to be implemented,” said Andersen.

She commended African countries for banning the importation, production, sale and use of plastic bags.Noting that 34 out of 55 African countries have stopped importation of plastic bags and adopted suitable alternatives, Andersen said, “We need global action to phase off plastic use that has been one of the major pollution threats in many countries.”

Sveinung Rotevatn, president of UNEA-5 and Norwegian minister for environment and climate, said, “Everyone gathered at the Environment Assembly today are deeply concerned about how the pandemic causes new and serious health, socio-economic and environmental challenges, and exacerbates existing ones, all over the world,” according to a press release on the UNEP official website.

“We shall work together to identify actions which can help us address climate change, protect biodiversity, and reduce pollution, at the same time,” he added.