November 5, 2010

Agreement reached at major UN biodiversity conference

The two-week United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan has concluded on a successful note, thanks to the marathon talks of representatives hailing from over 190 nations who worked together for 10 days seeking ways to better protect the planet’s ecosystem and endangered species.

Among the participants was Oscar-nominated US actor, producer, and board member of the group Conservation International, Harrison Ford, who urged leaders to take action.

Harrison Ford, Oscar-nominated US actor & producer, Conservation International Board member (M): I think it’s in our own human self-interest to put national interests aside to the extent that it’s necessary and possible, and come together on an international basis to support biodiversity – it is the foundation of life on Earth.

It’s in the interest of every nation, the community of nations, to come together and focus on a very time-critical issue.

VOICE: After discussing late into the night of Friday, October 29, delegates finalized a 20-point Strategic Plan to protect 17% of the world’s land and 10% of the oceans by 2020.

Currently, only about 12.5% of land and less than 1% of oceans are protected. To achieve these new objectives, wealthier nations committed to financially assist less developed nations in necessary measures for reducing pollution, over-exploitation, and habitat destruction.

However, despite the success of their accord, some scientists and other concerned advocates pointed out that these goals are not large enough and that other measures, such as a change in human diet, are key to the crucial conservation of Earth’s wildlife and resources.

In fact, studies presented by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) revealed that reducing meat consumption would be among the single-most effective ways to more quickly halt biodiversity loss.

Furthermore, it was found that combining the plant-based diet with other nature preservation initiatives could bring even greater ecological and economic benefits.

Supreme Master Television (F): Supreme Master Television. My question is: UN mentioned in a recent report that a plant-based diet is an immediate solution for it. How can we cooperate with each other to attain this goal?

Achim Steiner – Executive Director, UN Environment Program (UNEP) (M): You are referring to the overall question of consumption footprints on our planet. It’s much of the work that UNEP, by drawing on the signs related to agriculture, the consumption patterns, production patterns brings out.

What is quite clear that we are, as we look toward the linked issues of loss of biodiversity, ecosystems, food security, carbon emissions associated with the agricultural sector and the livestock sector, we also have an opportunity here to change, in a sense, a number of impacts.

Dr. Ann Larigauderie - Executive Director, DIVERSITAS (F): For example being more vegetarian would be a major contribution to the biodiversity problem. There are others, but that would be a big one. In fact, there is a really high environmental cost in eating meat. It would be much more efficient to eat lower n the food chain, that is, for more people to be vegetarians.

VOICE: Our gratefulness, Dr. Larigauderie, Executive Director Steiner, Mr. Harrison Ford, and all participants at this pivotal meeting for your dedication to safeguarding the inhabitants of our precious Earth. May the most constructive policies quickly be adopted to save all natural species and thus humankind, starting from the immediately effective, sustainable vegan lifestyle. As in this April 2009 videoconference in South Korea, Supreme Master Ching Hai has often pointed out that the most time- and cost-feasible solutions also consider the survival of all lives.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We should all remember that we share this planetary abode, the water, the air, the resources, the food, all of nature, we share only. We should not be possessive of nature.

So, the best thing we can do for all the animals is to stop causing suffering to them, stop killing them, stop eating them, stop damaging all our habitats. Stop damaging our environment.

Be veg, go green and save their planet too, the planet of the animals.

It restores the balance of our oceans and forests and preserves our finite natural resources. This is truly the best way to restore our environment and ensure the highest degree of peace.

Such a simple solution – being veg - that’s it.

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