Quebec celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity

The Government of Quebec reflects on the 25e Anniversary of Convention on Biological diversity celebrated in Montréal, Québec on May 22nd

The 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), was celebrated on May 22nd in Montreal, Québec, the host city of the Secretariat of the CDB.

The celebrations were the occasion to highlight the importance of this ground-breaking agreement, aiming at safeguarding the natural elements lying at the very basis of human well-being.

It was remarkable how the group of people that addressed the audience embodied crucial and complementary facets of the global mobilization for biodiversity.

To begin, M. Charles Patton from the Mohawk Community of Kahnawake, opened the ceremony with words of wisdom, lucidity and hope – allowing us for a moment to grasp the sheer grandiosity and fragility of the earth.

The tree plantation ceremony in presence of Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the CBD, Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development and the Fight Against Climate Change and Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and la Francophonie of Québec (Crédit photo: Rachel Levesque, MRIF)

Erik Solheim, Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the CBD, then reiterated their commitment to provide the international framework needed to galvanize global action and foster collaboration between all levels of government and spheres of society.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada, followed by highlighting the pressing need to develop a vision for a post-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.

Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development and the Fight Against Climate Change, Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and la Francophonie of Québec, as well as Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, recalled the importance of safeguarding biodiversity, then seized the opportunity to underscore how we subnational players are a vital part of the solution, as we possess crucial levers that can ensure our economies and societies develop in harmony with surrounding ecosystems.

Perhaps the strongest symbolic moment of this day occurred outside the building where the event took place, when local students participated in a tree planting ceremony. The anniversary offered the occasion to reiterate our resolve to change the story for future generations.

The tree plantation ceremony in presence of Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the CBD, Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development and the Fight Against Climate Change and Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and la Francophonie of Québec (Crédit photo: Rachel Levesque, MRIF)

The contributions of all levels of government will be a determining factor in overcoming this challenge, and we are fortunate because the efforts of subnational governments are recognized within the CBD and our voices are heard more than ever before.

This is why Québec encourages bold initiatives involving subnational governments in the field of biodiversity. The work of nrg4SD must be praised in this regard for having created dynamic networks of cooperation, such as the Regions for Biodiversity Learning Platform. It notably plays a crucial role by coordinating the Advisory Committee of Subnational Governments, which is canalizing our energies and bringing our voice to the COPs. Nrg4SD can count on Québec’s continuous support!

 

 

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