During the One Planet Summit, more than 50 countries committed to protecting 30 percent of the planet to prevent the extinction of species and also control climate change on Monday, January 10. According to AP reports, 30 leaders and government officials and heads of international organisations participated in the global summit. The event is committed to the protection of the world’s biodiversity and was held virtually this year due to the pandemic situation. However, top officials from the United States, Russia, India, and Brazil were not present at the summit.
A 2019 report on biodiversity from the United Nations showed that human activities are affecting nature now more than they have at any other time. Keeping in mind the biodiversity crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People has been joined by 50 countries. The coalition was launched in 2019 by Costa Rica, France, and Britain with a target of protecting 30 percent of the planet by the year 2030.
According to reports, Macron said, "We know even more clearly amid the crisis we are going through that all our vulnerabilities are interrelated. Pressure on nature exerted by human activities is increasing inequalities and threatening our health and our security." He added, "We can change the story if we decide to do it."
The summit focused on four major topics which included protecting the terrestrial and marine ecosystems, promoting agroecology, a more sustainable way to grow food, increasing funding to protect biodiversity, and identifying links between deforestation and the health of humans and animals. Also, the summit launched a program called PREZODE. This will be an international initiative to prevent the emergence of zoonotic diseases and pandemics. The initiative is already mobilising over 400 researchers and experts across the world.
Talking about the initiative UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "Pandemic recovery is our chance to change course”. He added, "With smart policies and the right investments, we can chart a path that brings health to all, revives economies, builds resilience, and rescues biodiversity."
The event was organised by France, the United Nations, and the World Bank and included world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Vice-Premier of China Han Zheng also attended the summit and said that "collective efforts" are needed.