Tonga duo attend UN Biodiversity Conference

NUKU’ALOFA – November 23, 2018: 12.35pm (ENVIRO NEWS): Tonga is represented at the United Nations (UN) Biodiversity Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, which started on November 13.

The Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECC), Mr Paula Ma’u and the Principal Officer for Biodiversity with the Department of Environment, Ms Ta’hirih Fifita Hokafonu are attending the meeting.

The Conference ends on November 29.

Mr Paula Ma’u attending the High Level Meeting on November 14. Photo: SUPPLIED

They are among delegates from 190 countries who are attending the meeting, which is focused on stepping up steps to halt the biodiversity loss and protect eco-systems that support food and water security and health for billions of people.

Mr Ma’u represented Tonga at the High-Level Segment of the UN Biodiversity Conference on November 14-15 . He also delivered Tonga’s statement at the Energy & Sea Mining Roundtable session.

The UN Biodiversity Conference is the first of its kind to be hosted by the African region.

The High-level Segment was convened at an opportune moment, with only two years remaining to meet the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and at a time when engaging the global community on biodiversity issues becomes pressing.

Under the theme “Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet”, the High-level Segment set the stage for lively exchanges amongst ministers of environment and other sectors, key leaders from all sectors of society, including the business sector, heads of United Nations Agencies, and high-ranking representatives.

The High-level Segment also provided political lead to the outcomes of the UN Biodiversity Conference, which will also address these same issues, among others.

The prime objective of the High-level Segment was to provide a platform for discussions on ways and means to mainstream biodiversity into the sectors of energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing, and health, within the broader context of sustainable development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

It also addressed how to engage the international community in the transformational path needed for the new global biodiversity framework to be adopted in 2020.

This book on BioDiversity was launched at the Conference

Participation in the High-level Segment is of strategic importance to facilitate a multi-sectoral dialogue aimed at further mainstreaming biodiversity in the sectors of energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing, and health, especially in the context of sustainable development.

The UN Biodiversity Conference includes the meetings of the governing bodies of the Convention on the Biological Diversity and its protocols as well as a number of parallel fora and summit meetings.

These meetings includes the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 9th meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on biosafety and the 3rd meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing.

In addition, on the margins of the UN Biodiversity Conference, pledges and commitments in support of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 will be made by governments, business, Non Government Organisations (NGOs), cities and subnational authorities, indigenous peoples and local communities, youth and civil society.

In Egypt Mr Ma’u and Ms Hokafonu were also able to plant an olive tree for Tonga at the Peace & Environment Museum in Egypt.

The Museum is by the Red Sea.

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