The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is calling on Caribbean nations as biodiversity hotspots to commit to the United Nations Leaders’ Pledge for Nature to reduce biodiversity loss by 2030. In a statement by CANARI, Belize is the only country from the region to sign the global pledge; 70 government have committed to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030. The pledge comes ahead of the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity on September 30, 2020 under the theme of ‘Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development’, which was attended by Heads of State and Government.
‘The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) commends the leadership shown by Belize and is calling on other Caribbean Governments to galvanize political commitment to invest in the health of our planet as an investment in our own future.”
A Biodiverse Caribbean
After all, the Caribbean is one of the 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world; meanwhile, nature continues to be key for the region’s approximately 44 million people. Belize is the only country from the region which has so far signed the global ‘Leaders Pledge for Nature’; 70 governments have committed to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, said the projected loss of biodiversity is a planetary emergency.
“‘Issues such as food, water, energy security and human health and welfare are inextricably linked to biodiversity. The biodiversity loss projected to occur warns of an impending planetary emergency which demands urgent action.”
– Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize
CANARI’s Executive Director, Nicole Leotaud, said: “Protecting nature must be at the heart of Caribbean COVID-19 recovery and climate resilience; we need strong leadership to prioritize biodiversity conservation as a central pillar in Caribbean development. There is strong commitment and action by civil society and local communities to protect biodiversity and nature-based livelihoods. But, more needs to be done at the political level.” CANARI has been working over the past 30 years to enhance stewardship of natural resources, investing with 39 projects worth over US$7.3 million in more than 20 countries and territories across the Caribbean.