China wants to lead a new global pact to protect biodiversity

In the 1990s, the water quality of Kunming Dianchi Lake, capital of the province of Yunnan, southwest of China, was at the lowest level of the five with whom Ch

China wants to lead a new global pact to protect biodiversity

In the 1990s, the water quality of Kunming Dianchi Lake, capital of the province of Yunnan, southwest of China, was at the lowest level of the five with whom China classifies its waters. That meant that it was not suitable for agricultural or industrial use. Since the 50s, Dianchi, which has an area of 300 square kilometers, was Kunming's main wastewater landfill. He was so contaminated that she gave off a stinky smell that frightened the residents of the area.

The government of this city of six million inhabitants decided to clean the lake, investing more than six million euros. 12 years ago, a large-scale ecological restoration project began by building a green wetlack belt along the shore and planting more than 800,000 trees.

This helped to purify water by absorbing a large number of agricultural and urban runoff, industrial effluents and sewer overflows before leaking on the Dianchi. In 2018, for the first time in decades, the water could now begin to be used for industrial purposes. Parts of the lake shore have been transformed into a colorful walk that appears in the tour guides.

This lake is the largest in the province with the greatest biodiversity of China. Yunnan occupies only 4% of the national territory, but it houses almost three quarters of the country's protected species: Asian elephants, black and brown bears, cloudy leopards, red pandas and monkeys. In addition, it is home to 18,000 plant species.

It is no coincidence that the United Nations Biodiversity Conference is being celebrated this week in Kunming. COP15 was born at the Land Summit of the UN in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and this October welcomes China as a host country. For a week, 1,800 experts and politicians from 195 countries are participating by videoconferencing or in a face-to-face manner in long forums where climate change and ecological conservation are discussed.

This Wednesday, according to China's Ministry of Environment, representatives from more than 100 countries adopted the so-called "Kunming Declaration", which asks for "urgent and integrated actions" to create a global biodiversity pact. Although it is not a binding international agreement, but a political will document to set the bases of a new covenant that includes, among other projects, restore degraded ecosystems and finance conservation in the poorest countries.

Chinese president, Xi Jinping opened the session on Tuesday afternoon giving a speech by videoconference. "China will take the initiative and contribute to 1,500 million yuan (200 million euros) to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund and support the development of the biodiversity of developing countries," XI committed, who welcomed others Countries to contribute to the Fund.

Also, in the midst of the largest energy crisis of the last decade in China, with continuous blackouts in 20 of China's 31 provinces, which are rationing electricity, the president said that his country would accelerate the development of solar energy. "We will intensify our efforts in the development of renewable energy and accelerate the planning of a large-scale photovoltaic and wind energy projects in our deserts and nearby areas," he said. "The phase one of these projects with a combined installed capacity of 100 million kilowatts will begin construction soon in an orderly manner".

In September, XI, which runs the country that issues more emissions of greenhouse gases in the world (27%), appeared before the UN General Assembly to commit to China would stop building coal central abroad. The coal remains the main source of energy in the Asian giant, representing the one 58% of the country's energy demand in 2020, according to the National Statistics Office.

Last year, Chinese president already announced to the UN that China would reach the top of carbon emissions before 2030 and would achieve neutrality in its emissions in 2060. The objective of generating 20% of the total energy consumption of the energy was also set. Country from renewable energies for 2025.

COP15, which is held one month before COP26, the important UN summit in Glasgow on climate change, will have a second part in April, in which it is expected to attend the leaders of the main world powers in person. It is expected that in this second part of the next year, leaders adopt a global biodiversity framework after 2020, which aims to protect 30% of land and marine areas through conservation by 2030, according to a draft of The statement published on the website of the conference.

Qian Yong, director of the XI Jinping Research Center on Ecological Civilization, a state entity, takes stock of the achievements of his country in Environmental Management: "By the end of 2020, carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in China had been reduced by 48.4% from the 2005 level, improving the goal of 40 to 45%. China has seen its forest areas expand for 30 consecutive years, contributing a quarter of growth in the forest area of the world. On average, the desert land of the country decreases in 2,424 square kilometers each year. "

"China is taking the lead in the field of biodiversity. In the last 10 years, its forest cover has increased because it has invested a lot of money. This Kunming conference is as important as Glasgow's climate change. To trim CO2 emissions It is essential to conserve protected areas, "says Borja de la Peña, responsible for the Global Policies of the International Organization for Bamboo and Rattan (Inbar), created in 1997 to help countries integrate bamboo into their national plans of sustainable development.

Updated Date: 15 October 2021, 16:42

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