Environment-related officials from 124 countries agreed to widen the scope of global coordination on preserving biodiversity worldwide during the 12th meeting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which closed on Friday in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province.
Reaching a consensus through senior-level gatherings, participants said they adopted the “Gangwon Declaration” and “Pyeongchang Road Map,” both of which summarize conservation initiatives and global development suggestions made during the three-week-long gathering in the Korean eco-friendly district.
A noteworthy agreement of the declaration and road map is the international community’s commitment to reinforcing conservation of biodiversity at border areas across the world, according to the local secretariat of the CBD.
The declaration urged the U.N. to make biodiversity a major issue in future discussions for setting sustainable development goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, a process led by the U.N. that aims to help define the future global development framework that will succeed the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight global development targets, which come to an end in 2015.
It also contains a message welcoming the “Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative” proposed during the conference by South Korea for the conservation of biodiversity in border areas accross the world.
The ecosystem in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas was highlighted during a symposium attended by 20,000 people.
As one of the key global symposiums on environmental cooperation, the international DMZ forum convened at the Alpensia Convention Center in Pyeongchang earlier this month.
Speakers proposed a sustainable development model by adopting a declaration of cooperation on the conservation of border areas including the DMZ,” said local secretariat director general Kim Sang-hoon.
National Institute of Ecology president Choe Jae-chun delivered a speech on the values and implications of Korea’s DMZ conservation. Choe stressed, “the DMZ is no longer a land of the Koreans only. It belongs to humanity and shares the right to enjoy the benefits that are gained through protecting biodiversity.”
Meanwhile, CBD officials said at a news briefing that smallholder farmers throughout the world play a key role in maintaining natural resources through the use of sustainable practices, and can significantly contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.
They said the theme for this year is “family farming”: Feeding the world, caring for the Earth, seeks to raise the profile of the more than 500 million family farms, which produce about 80 percent of the world’s food and are crucial to ensure global food security.
“These 500 million families of farmers should be considered key players in the management of the world’s biodiversity ― they are the largest group of biodiversity managers,” said Eduardo Mansur, Director of FAO Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division.
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