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Director-General's remarks on the occasion of International Biodiversity Day 2024

Tatiana Valovaya

International Biodiversity Day Celebration 2024 

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 at 10.00 a.m.

 Room III, Palais des Nations



Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to sincerely thank the Geneva Environment Network and the Convention on Biological Diversity for bringing us together to celebrate the Biodiversity Day 2024, and I am particularly pleased to welcome you here at the Palais des Nations on this occasion. 

We are surrounded by the beautiful Ariana Park – one of the biggest prestigioDus parks in Geneva – that exemplifies that it is possible to preserve rich biodiversity within urban area. Despite the ongoing works in the Palais, the park is home to peacocks, foxes, the common kestrel, the common swift, and many other species. Just yesterday, we celebrated World Bee Day, paying tribute to beekeeping and planting white lavender as a symbolic gesture for the bees at the Palais.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are currently facing a triple planetary crisis that includes climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. These challenges are interlinked, with climate change poised to become the dominant cause of biodiversity loss in the near future. Already, one million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction, and 40% of the world’s population, equivalent to 3.2 billion people, are affected by land degradation. 

Humankind is the primary driver of this environment crisis. We are contaminating land, oceans, and freshwater with toxic pollutants, wrecking landscapes and ecosystems, and disrupting our climate with greenhouse gas emissions. Decimating biodiversity not only hampers sustainable development today but also threatens a dangerous and uncertain future for generations to come.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework – also known as the Biodiversity Plan – offers a pathway to reverse biodiversity loss while fostering job creation, building resilience, and spurring sustainable development. Adopted in 2022, this Framework aims to halt and reverse nature loss by protecting 30% of our planet’s land and waters by 2030. It includes concrete measures to address biodiversity loss, restore ecosystems, protect indigenous rights, and finance relevant initiatives in developing countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Governments must lead the realization of the Plan, but as this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity reminds us, we are all “Part of the Plan” – we all have a role to play. Indigenous Peoples, businesses, financial institutions, local and regional authorities, civil society, women, young people, and academia must work together to value, protect, and restore biodiversity for the benefits of all. Today’s meeting provides for all our participants a multistakeholder platform for such a meaningful exchange.

International Geneva, home to numerous key institutions, plays a pivotal role in setting the global agenda to address the biodiversity crisis. The institutions based here are instrumental in driving the implementation of the Montreal-Kunming Framework, highlighting Geneva’s unique position in the global environmental landscape.

Today’s event provides an opportunity to raise awareness about biodiversity loss and the consequences for humanity. As we mark this Day for Biological Diversity, let us commit to be Part of the Plan. Let us act urgently to put biodiversity on a path to recovery and build momentum towards CBD COP16 in October, protecting the planet and creating a “greener, bluer and more sustainable world” for the new generations.

Thank you.


This speech is part of a curated selection from various official events and is posted as prepared.