SINGAPORE, Dec 5 (The Straits Times/ANN): Singapore is sending a delegation to the COP15 biodiversity talks in Montreal.
“There, we will have the opportunity to contribute to plans that will guide actions to halt biodiversity loss at the global level,” said Dr Lena Chan, senior director of international biodiversity conservation at the National Parks Board (NParks).
COP15 stands for the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The meeting, involving nearly 200 nations, is perhaps the most important UN meeting on nature in a decade.
“Despite being a small city-state, Singapore is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. We agree with the need to protect these species and their habitats while balancing our land-use needs, such as for housing and industry.
"These are issues that impact not just Singapore, but also countries globally,” Dr Chan told The Straits Times.
“Singapore supports the need to address the current global biodiversity crisis, especially through multilateral platforms such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its 2050 Vision of living in harmony with nature.”
NParks is Singapore’s lead agency for the CBD.
The meeting will call for the adoption of a plan of action by subnational governments, cities and other local authorities for biodiversity during the 2021 to 2030 period. The plan outlines key activities for implementing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework that COP15 aims to agree.
Dr Chan said this includes the Edinburgh Declaration for subnational governments, cities and local authorities on the post-2020 framework, which Singapore signed and endorsed earlier in 2022.
More than 200 have signed the declaration, which pledges “strong and bold actions to bring about transformative change in order to halt biodiversity loss”.
“We take this call seriously, as we recognise the key role that protected areas play in biodiversity conservation,” said Dr Chan.
Protected areas in Singapore include four nature reserves, which constitute nearly 5 per cent of Singapore’s land.
In addition, the government has established a network of nature parks which act as buffers for the nature reserves against the impact of human activity and urbanisation, as well as ecological corridors that strengthen connectivity between the green spaces, Dr Chan said. - The Straits Times/ANN