Eradicating poverty goes hand in hand with biodiversity protection – UN officials

“Maintaining biodiversity is related not only to direct conservation measures, but also to pursuing poverty reduction and human development in ways which are sustainable. This is of critical importance to the success of the post-2015 development agenda,” said Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) at the opening of the High Level segment of the of the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-12) in Pyeongchang.“Human survival and wellbeing depend heavily upon the earth’s biodiversity. Biodiversity loss not only has serious implications for our natural environment: it also undermines our livelihoods, health, and food and water security,” she said in her remarks to the High-Level segment, which runs through Thursday, 16 October.Miss Clark noted that biodiversity protection will be crucial to the achievement of the sustainable development goals being developed by the UN General Assembly. The working group crafting those targets, which will succeed the landmark UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, has proposed two “stand-alone” goals for biodiversity: one on oceans; and another on terrestrial ecosystems. It has also proposed including biodiversity targets in other goals, such as those on food security and poverty eradication.“Tackling poverty and creating economic opportunity goes hand in hand with protecting biodiversity” Miss Clark said. “It will require leaders to see the links between the complex challenges we face and the solutions.”For his part, the Executive Director of the CBD, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias stressed that bringing biodiversity into the public discourse is essential to make progress.“We have to promote the understanding that biodiversity underpins sustainable development for economic and social well-being,” Mr. Dias said.He referenced the recently released Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 report, which found that while there has been an increase in action by countries to protect biodiversity, these are not enough and efforts need to be scaled up if they are to achieve the 20 biodiversity goals known as the Aichi targets before their 2020 deadline.“The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity is an agenda for sustainable development,” he said, adding that it goes beyond concern of the environment sector. The Plan broke new ground by recognizing the need to mainstream biodiversity into other sectors and processes.“And nowhere is that more vital than in the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals,” he said, explain that simply put, biodiversity is a critical foundation of the Earth’s life support system on which the welfare of current and future generations depends, as it provides, among others, basic goods, such as food, fibre, fuel and medicine; and provides ecosystem resilience and contributes to the ability to respond to unpredictable global changes and natural disasters.The High Level Segment of the COP-12 will give Government ministers and leaders from civil society organizations an opportunity to express their views on a wide range of topics related to biodiversity such as sustainable development, climate change, the economy and peace and security.There will be four panel discussions consisting of the following topics: How to integrate biodiversity into the sustainable development goals and post-2015 development agenda; integrating national biodiversity strategies and action plans into national and local development and poverty eradication strategies and planning processes; nature-based solutions to global challenges; and biodiversity and the creative economy. read more

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Im scared to go to school More children than ever seek counselling

first_img Show more Childline’s president Dame Esther Rantzen said: “Bullying can wreck young people’s lives, especially now that the bullies don’t stop at the school gates. Cyber-bullying can follow them home until it becomes a persecution they cannot escape. The number of children needing counselling for online bullying has increased by 88 per cent in five years.The NSPCC’s Childline service counselled 4,541 children this year, which was 13 per cent more than the previous year.Children as young as seven told Childline how they were scared to go to school after being bullied.“Every day I wake up scared to go to school, scared about the comments people will make and scared about walking home,” said one 13-year-old girl. “It is imperative that adults, parents and teachers, intervene to protect them, because we have learned over the years from Childline callers that bullying does not stop on its own, left alone it gets worse.”Schools must take this problem seriously, and above all children must ask for help.”The Childline report marks the start of Anti-Bullying Week, which is coordinated by the Anti Bullying Alliance.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Then I get in and log onto my social networking site and there are horrible messages everywhere. It’s like there’s no escaping the bullies. I’m struggling to cope with how upset I feel so sometimes I cut myself just to have a release but it’s not enough. I can’t go on like this.”Young people told the helpline about the negative messages they received on social media, ranging from abusive comments about their looks; to those directly telling the person to kill themselves.One girl, 14, said: “I am being bullied by a girl at school. She has taken photos of me and posted them on Snapchat calling me fat and ugly and how I will never have a boyfriend. I have been having suicidal thoughts as this girl is really popular and she has turned my whole year against me.”last_img read more

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