Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland

10/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/13/2021 10:59

Ávarp Guðmundar Ing Guðbrandssonar umhverfis- og auðlindaráðherra á 15. aðildaríkjaþingi samnings SÞ um líffræðilega fjölbreytni - Ávarpið er á ensku

CBD COP15, High Level Segment
Session C. Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development

Statement by Iceland,
Delivered by Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson,
Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources.

Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen.

Due to our interference and interactions with nature, we have driven many of the world species, habitats, and ecosystems to the brink of collapse or extinction.

Business as usual is not an option anymore. We need a drastic change to halt the loss of biodiversity. We cannot sustain humanity by constantly converting natural habitats for the benefits of only one species. We need biological diversity to survive and for that we need to conserve pristine nature, and restore and improve the declining ecosystems and habitats. We need sustainable management of our resources based on sound scientific research and monitoring of biodiversity.

We need firm, concise, and effective actions across all sectors and by all entities of our societies, nationally and internationally. Biodiversity conservation and actions need to be synchronised and integrated into all sectors of society. Incentives and financial support with negative effect on biodiversity need to be eliminated or reverted to positive incentives. And we must increase synergies in implementing the Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

Iceland supports the formulation of the first draft of the Global Biodiversity Framework. In Iceland we are close to 30 percent coverage of Protected Areas on land, but much less in the ocean.

Iceland is already preparing for the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework by formulating a new National Biodiversity Strategy based on the first draft, to be ready and approved by the time the GBF will be adopted by COP-15. Part of our national commitment is to more than triple coverage of native birch forests from 1,5% to 5%, strengthen conservation and restoration of wetlands and dryland habitats, improved monitoring of the impact of land use on carbon in soils, and implementation of criteria for sustainable land use. All of this can be considered ecosystem and nature-based solutions for biodiversity conservation and climate mitigations.

Mr. President, Iceland supports the content of the Kunming declaration.

Recording of the Statement can be found here.