Statement of Ibrahim Thiaw on the G20 Environment Communiqué Adopted in Naples, Italy
Bonn, 23 July 2021 - I welcome the G20 Environment Communiqué adopted yesterday in Naples, Italy.
The Communiqué shows the desire of many world leaders to build societies that are not merely climate change resilient but that live in harmony with nature. World leaders are listening.
The Communiqué spells out, in greater detail than ever before, how good land use and stewardship can help solve some of the most urgent global challenges facing humanity. From emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, to climate change and biodiversity loss.
The commitments by some G20 countries to the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, to ensure that at least 30% of the land is conserved by 2030 and to endeavor to reduce the amount of degraded land by 50% by 2040, even if voluntary, are commendable. Every practical contribution to a better world is vital.
At a time when some communities are facing existential threats or massive personal losses from natural disasters, these commitments offer hope. A better world is possible.
I thank the Government of Italy for its leadership in helping to achieve these results. I congratulate the G20 for the growing consensus and momentum around land issues that emerged at Naples. The G20 Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitat housed by the UNCCD will help to turn these ambitions into tangible outcomes.