(Adds TV, PIX slug, expert comment)
By David Stanway
KUNMING, China, Oct. 12 (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday announced the launch of a 1.5 billion yuan ($ 232.47 million) fund to protect biodiversity in developing countries as talks continue on a new post-2020 global compact to combat species loss.
Xi spoke virtually at the COP15 Summit on Biodiversity in Kunming, China, where diplomats, scientists and conservationists meet to lay the foundations for a global agreement to stop and reverse the destruction of nature due to be concluded next May .
“Developing countries need help and support, and solidarity needs to be strengthened so that developing countries can benefit more equitably,” said Xi.
Li Shuo, chief climate advisor at Greenpeace China, said the new fund “should spark a much-needed discussion about funding biodiversity.”
“At COP15, developed world donors have a role to play in this regard,” he said.
Experts say it will take an estimated $ 1 trillion a year https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/what-expect-un-conference-biodiversity-2021-10-08 to build and manage sustainable supply chains Helping countries protect nature in other ways – far more than the $ 150 billion spent on such measures in 2019.
President Xi said China’s contribution to the Kunming Biodiversity Fund would start at 1.5 billion yuan and that it would also welcome contributions from other parties.
He also announced a new national park program that would put 230,000 square kilometers (88,800 square miles) of land under greater state protection.
The parks – which include China’s panda, tiger, and leopard habitats, as well as key nature reserves near the upper reaches of the Yangtze, Yellow, and Mekong Rivers in the northwest – are home to nearly 30 percent of the country’s major terrestrial wildlife. said Xi.
China has identified funding as a major obstacle in efforts to meet ambitious climate and biodiversity goals.
Vice Environment Minister Zhao Yingmin said in a briefing last week that special attention must be paid to the transfer of funds, technology and talent to developing countries if the new biodiversity agreement is to be successful.
However, experts say that new sources of funding are only part of the solution, and point out that China’s efforts https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-biodiversity-china/china-vows-to-include- biodiversity-in-business-plans-as-un-talks-begin-idUSKBN2H10OT to conserve biodiversity domestically have not been outdone by efforts to clean up global supply chains or make sustainable investments abroad.
“While China is taking control of its domestic footprint, it has created a larger footprint overseas for things like soy, and if this continues, these countries will not be able to preserve biodiversity.” said Alice Hughes, conservation biologist and head of delegation for the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, a Beijing-based non-governmental group.
“If countries want to be leaders, they have to take responsibility for their overseas footprint,” she said. “This includes finance, overseas development, and imports.”
($ 1 = 6.4525 Chinese Yuan) (Letter from Kanupriya Kapoor; Edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan)