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‘70 p.c. of CO2 emissions are from cities’

Special Correspondent
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Every person in industrialised nations wastes 100 kg of food per year, says UNEP representative

Conservation agenda:Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory Private Limited Pavan Sukhdev delivering a talk while environmental economist Katia Karousakis and UNEP representative Ibrahim Thiaw and Tim Hirsch of Global Biodiversity Information Facility listen at the CoP-11 meet in Hyderabad on Saturday.— Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
Conservation agenda:Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory Private Limited Pavan Sukhdev delivering a talk while environmental economist Katia Karousakis and UNEP representative Ibrahim Thiaw and Tim Hirsch of Global Biodiversity Information Facility listen at the CoP-11 meet in Hyderabad on Saturday.— Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Cities represent two per cent of earth’s land mass, but are responsible for 70 per cent of CO2 emissions, every person in industrialised nations wastes 100 kg of food per year and 50 per cent of great apes were lost in the last 50 years.

These are not answers at a general knowledge quiz competition for college students, but hard facts presented to delegates attending the global biodiversity meet here on Saturday by Ibrahim Thiaw, Director of the Division of Environment Policy Implementation (DEPI), UNEP. He was among the experts who spoke at a day-long session on “20/20 Talks: 20 Presentations on 20 Targets” (the Aichi Biodiversity Targets).

Stressing that every single individual could do his bit for biodiversity conservation, he said that 110-130 million tonnes of marine fish were caught per year and only 70 million tonnes were consumed by humans. While 30 million tonnes were discarded another 30 million tonnes were used for fish feed. The situation could be improved as half the fish were not used.

Stating that agriculture was the major driver of biodiversity erosion, he said one billion hectares of agriculture land has been degraded. Observing that only 43 per cent of cereals produced were used for human consumption and up to 50 per cent went for animal feed, Mr. Thiaw called for increasing productivity rather than expanding the acreage of crops.

Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Dr. Braulio Dias said the 20 targets set to be achieved by 2020 as agreed by parties to the convention would not be accomplished unless biodiversity was mainstreamed into all sectors. He wanted the governments to take lead and demonstrate concrete action like promoting biodiversity in national plans and including green procurement rules.

He said biodiversity was about all life on earth and all stakeholders needed to be mobilised for conserving it. Referring to collapse of eco-systems and adverse events caused by climate change, he called for an integrated approach to forests, agriculture, fisheries and other sectors.

Experts from around the world made presentations on each of the Aichi targets.


  • 110-130 million tonnes of marine fish caught every year

  • Only 70 million tonnes are consumed by the humans



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