Speech by Minister Pekka Haavisto at the UN Biodiversity Summit

Speech by Minister Pekka Haavisto at the UN Biodiversity Summit 30.9.2020

The loss of biodiversity is catastrophic and it’s fueled by climate change. We are exceeding our planetary boundaries.

Pressing environmental problems - land degradation, deforestation, ocean warming - are all caused by human activities and pushing our planet towards a sixth mass species extinction. We can’t afford neglecting this concern. For example land degradation costs more than 10 per cent of the annual global gross product in loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, as stated in the recently released UNEP report.

Mainstreaming biodiversity into all sectoral policies is fundamental. In the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, we should have dedicated stand-alone goals for mainstreaming. The whole-of-government approach to promote biodiversity conservation, restoration and sustainable use is important. 

The Government of Finland has decided to invest substantially into halting the loss of biodiversity. New funding for nature conservation has increased by 100 million EUR annually. We will increase protected areas and support a transition towards a carbon neutral Finland by 2035. Nature-based solutions hold significant potential for climate change adaption and mitigation as well as biodiversity conservation. The Nature Conservation Act, Land Use and Building Act and the Climate Act are key for biodiversity and under revision. We aim for the 30 % target to expand global protection of land and sea by 2030, including marine areas in the high seas.

The pandemic has shown that we need a renewed focus on multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core. The 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biodiversity are our existing roadmaps and we must accelerate our action to implement them.

Last but not least, I want to flag the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action led by Finland and Chile. We must continue to get finance ministers on board for transformative change to happen. Climate change and biodiversity need to be mainstreamed in all policy planning and budgeting.

Speeches held by Ministers and the top leadership of the Ministry.