Quotes of participants of the High-Level Segment:
Theresa Mundita S Lim
ASEAN CENTRE FOR BIODIVERSITY
On migratory species:
“Migratory species are tangible reminders that all of us, no matter what race, culture, or country we belong to, share the same planet and that we are all interconnected. Their regular presence in the times of the year when we are expecting them to be there, are signs that all is well where they came from, wherever they have been, and where they currently are. Their survival somehow reassures us of our survival as well, as they continue to support certain ecosystem functions that are vital to us, when circumstances and timing warrants it. Some examples are containing and controlling pests and diseases, keeping us resilient and safe from hunger and disaster by growing and expanding our forests and coastal and marine habitats naturally, or simply just giving us a calming glimpse of nature’s abundance and beauty, a source of inspiration for some, and for others, an opportunity to earn a living, sustainably.
But efforts to protect our migratory species will only be successful if we recognize our interconnectedness, and nations do not act alone and independently.
The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) supports cooperation and collaboration among countries to deliver greater and more lasting impact in the continuing global efforts to keep our migratory species safe and allow humanity to continue benefiting from the important ecosystem services that these wildlife resources provide. Our support, in fact, focuses on ten countries in Southeast Asia, or the ASEAN Member States who established the ACB as a mechanism for this stronger collaboration and has since supported sub-regional and regional initiatives to help the member states contribute significantly in meeting global biodiversity targets.
With the ACB, the countries have committed to work together to protect the remaining biodiversity in the sub-region, including the migratory species which move from within, then across and beyond national boundaries. One initiative that demonstrates appreciation for the value of sub-regional cooperation in conserving migratory species is the creation of the ASEAN Flyway Network (AFN), which facilitates coordinated action for monitoring and protecting migratory waterbirds and the wetlands that support them. AFN is a virtual network of national focal points from the 10 AMS, flyway site managers, and other key stakeholders in the ASEAN region that facilitates regional cooperation in the conservation of migratory waterbirds and the wetlands that support them.”
On migratory species in the post-2020 framework:
“Interconnectivity must be considered one of the important elements of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The idea that the decision to act cannot be made by only one, but several, or all countries, is reinforced by the recognition that all of us are interconnected. Protecting migratory species and their pathways not only during their adulthood but all throughout their life cycle, encourages more countries to work together as one and creates partnerships across sectors and disciplines to address the various threats that affect migratory wildlife. In the process, this will not just lead towards achieving only the species target, but also in meeting multiple biodiversity targets and a number of sustainable development goals as well.”
Deputy Executive Secretary
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
“Migratory birds reflect the delicate balance of nature and humanity’s relationship with it. This delicate balance, however, is endangered by the ultimate threat multiplier: climate change. It is already destroying ecosystems that these birds, as well as other species, depend on. As nations update and submit new national climate action plans in 2020, we urge them to include measures to protect biodiversity, migratory species and their habitats.”
John E. Scanlon AO
“Connectivity is a defining feature of a successful modern economy and of a healthy natural environment. No species, no place, no country can survive in isolation, but as the infrastructure for economic connectivity proliferates, we see ecological connectivity in decline, with migratory animals paying a particularly heavy price. Our future prosperity relies upon a sound economy and a healthy natural environment, and 2020, the ‘super year’ for biodiversity, offers us the opportunity to embed ecological connectivity into our strategies. If not, nature, just like an economy, will start to collapse.”
International Whaling Commission (IWC)
“'The IWC welcomes the opportunity to participate in COP13, underscores the productive partnership between our organisations and embraces the theme of connectivity, given the migratory status of so many cetacean populations.”
Convention on Biological Diversity
“It is fitting that the ‘super year’ for biodiversity, and our road together for an ambitious global framework in Kunming, begins with and at the Gandhinagar COP. The Convention on Migratory Species, and its species-specific agreements between countries, exemplifies the international cooperation needed to halt and reverse the loss of the world's biodiversity and renew the health and integrity of the ecosystems that ensure our food, water and livelihoods, the stability of the Earth's climate system, and the sustainable future of our planet. I am confident that the spirit of your deliberations and the agreements that you reach this week will set us on the road to a truly transformative global commitment for biodiversity that will build a future of life in harmony with nature.”
Yuan Liu, Francisco Perez
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
“The biodiversity ‘super-year’ gives Parties the opportunity to take stock and commit to a transformative biodiversity agenda under each of the biodiversity-related Conventions. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Convention on Biological Diversity, for example, share a common vision to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and its components, which is recognised by the respective Parties in their Strategic Visions. Governments, industry, civil society, academia and all citizens working together on shared objectives at all levels will make possible the achievement of the ambitious goals of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The time to act is now; we can no longer ignore the increasing threats to biodiversity from loss of habitats to overexploitation of animal and plant species to climate change.”
Martha Rojas Urrego
“Migratory species whether birds, fish, turtles and mammals depend on a vast and interconnected network of freshwater, marine, and coastal wetlands, as an important habitat to stopover, feed and breed. Yet currently, wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests. Eighty seven per cent have been lost in the past 300 years and 35 per cent since 1970.
Wetland conservation, sustainable use and restoration must be at the heart of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. All countries must be encouraged to collaborate across borders and regions, if we are to reach our common biodiversity ambition in 2020 and beyond.”