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Emmanuel Macron: ‘There isn’t a vaccine for a sick planet’ | Biodiversity

The world’s greatest biodiversity summit for the reason that begin of the pandemic has opened within the French port metropolis of Marseille with a warning from Emmanuel Macron that “there isn’t a vaccine for a sick planet”.

Talking on the opening of the IUCN World Conservation Congress, the president echoed warnings from main scientists that humanity should resolve ongoing crises with local weather and nature collectively or resolve neither, urging the world to atone for stopping the lack of biodiversity.

“There isn’t a vaccine for a sick planet,” Macron mentioned, detailing the pressing duties of phasing out pesticide use, ending plastic air pollution and eradicating uncooked supplies linked to deforestation of rainforests from provide chains all over the world.

In a prolonged speech, he mentioned the world should agree objectives and make monetary commitments for nature equal to these for the local weather, and mentioned he would push for Earth’s polar areas to be recognised as frequent international property on the launch of the congress.

1000’s of scientists, conservation consultants and officers have travelled to the Mediterranean metropolis for the summit, which can host occasions each in individual and on-line, to debate and share concepts regarding the safety of nature.

It comes after the pandemic pressured a year-long delay to the assembly in Marseille and a UN biodiversity summit in Kunming, China, the place it’s hoped international locations will agree a “Paris-agreement for nature”.

In a recorded message, the Chinese language prime minister Li Keqiang mentioned international locations should work collectively to create a “clear and delightful world”, highlighting the large journey of a herd of Asian elephants in Yunnan for example of China’s rising success with conservation efforts.

“Many locations have been hit by uncommon storms and floods. The climate occasions pose a extreme risk to the survival and improvement of humanity, and make defending nature and international not-traditional safety points extra prescient,” Li mentioned.

Harrison Ford highlighted the function of indigenous communities in defending nature. {Photograph}: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

The Hollywood actor and environmentalist Harrison Ford, talking on behalf of Conservation Worldwide, paid tribute to the function of younger environmentalists in defending nature and battling the local weather disaster.

“Reinforcements are on the way in which,” Ford mentioned. “They’re sitting in lecture halls now, venturing into the sector for the very first time, writing their thesis, they’re main marches, organising communities, are studying to show passionate into progress and potential into energy. However they’re not right here but. In a couple of years, they are going to be right here.”

Ford, a passionate campaigner for the safety of the Amazon, highlighted the function of indigenous communities in defending nature.

In a parallel occasion, indigenous teams, lecturers and campaigners from 18 international locations gathered within the port metropolis for a “counter convention” referred to as Our Land Our Nature.

Delegates wish to spotlight the way in which by which indigenous individuals are negatively impacted within the identify of worldwide ambitions to create area for wildlife.

A key problem is the coverage goal of defending 30% of the planet by 2030, which campaigners say might violate many indigenous folks’s rights.

“I believe we have to rethink the definition of protected areas, people who exist, and we have to search for a extra subtle mannequin of biodiversity and conservation,” mentioned Dr Mordecai Ogada, director of Conservation Options Afrika. “We have to break down the narrative into a lot smaller and extra complicated items.”

Tons of of protesters, together with representatives from Survival Worldwide, Extinction Riot, Rainforest Basis and Minority Rights Group gathered on the Porte d’Aix, which marks the previous entry level to Marseille, and marched to town’s harbour within the pouring rain. The demonstration concluded with speeches, small theatrical shows and chants.