At the National presentation of the draft Resolution. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

On September 21, 2020, in Bishkek, the National presentation of the draft Resolution to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly "Nature knows no borders: Transboundary cooperation is a key factor in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity" was held.

The draft Resolution, initiated by the Kyrgyz Republic, aims to take urgent joint measures to protect the environment, preserve biodiversity, and ensure environmental safety. It will be submitted to the UN General Assembly in October this year.

The presentation was attended by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Nuran Niyazaliev, the UN Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan Ozonnia Ojielo, UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Louise Chamberlain, Head of the Global Forest Coalition Anna Kirilenko, representatives of state bodies of the country, diplomatic missions, international organizations, and public environmental organizations.

The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Nuran Niyazaliev is presenting the draft Resolution. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Nuran Niyazaliev, informed that the draft Resolution is being submitted as part of the initiative of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov to strengthen a new direction of the country's foreign policy - environmental diplomacy. The Resolution “meets the interests of all countries of the world, emphasizes the priority of cooperation in order to maintain and preserve healthy and untouched ecological systems, habitats of rare species that are necessary for the preservation of biodiversity, and the continuation of providing people with natural benefits.”

UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Louise Chamberlain delivers her speech at the meeting. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

Addressing the meeting participants, UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic, Louise Chamberlain, outlined the particular importance of "the bold and strategic step of the Kyrgyz Republic to propose a UN General Assembly Resolution." Louise Chamberlain stressed that "the focus of this Resolution is a unique and compelling one - it stresses the need for international and transboundary cooperation in order to maintain healthy and intact ecosystems and habitats."

It should be noted that the draft Resolution has already received approval and support from some global environmental organizations, such as the UN Convention on Biodiversity, the Convention on Migratory Species, UNEP, WWF, the Ramsar Convention, and Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU).

The draft Resolution is a response to the current state of the environment and ecosystems. Climate change, global warming, melting glaciers, natural disasters require decisive measures and joint efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. In this regard, this initiative of the Kyrgyz Republic calls on the global community "to respond actively to the current environmental threats and to proceed with joint and decisive international steps to protect our nature."

“Cooperation for biodiversity is something that must engage all countries, whether they are large or small, landlocked or an island state. It is about migratory animals, water catchments, and habitats that reach beyond borders. With this Resolution, the Kyrgyz Republic is making an important point at the General Assembly: Working together on biodiversity is essential for sustainable development”, said the UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic. “UNDP has supported the emergence of tools for trans-boundary cooperation in conserving snow leopards and their habitats. Such tools include climate-smart management plans, biodiversity monitoring, action against illegal wildlife trade, conservation programs with local communities, and more.”

An exhibition of photographs "Save me!" – Your Nature" devoted to the biodiversity of the Western Tian Shan. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

In this direction, UNDP has been implementing several initiatives to preserve biodiversity, strengthen the capacity of the specially protected natural areas in the Western Tian Shan, transform approaches to financing biodiversity, and combat climate change.

Continuing the topic of cooperation, the Head of the Global Forest Coalition, Anna Kirilenko, in her speech, noted Kyrgyzstan's commitment to preserving ecosystems for current and future generations in the light of global climate change and the unprecedented situation with COVID-19. "However, the conservation of biodiversity, as well as the solution of most other environmental problems, is impossible without cooperation between countries, organizations, without developing synergies with all sectors of society," said Anna Kirilenko. "The participation of civil society plays a decisive role in ensuring the sustainability of modernization processes, biodiversity conservation, and adaptation to climate change."

For the event participants, an exhibition of photographs" Save me!" – Your Nature" was organized with support from Global Environment Facility. The exhibition brought together rare and endangered representatives of animals and plants of Kyrgyzstan and people's efforts to preserve the unique biodiversity of the Western Tian Shan.

The presentation was organized with support from UNDP – GEF Project “Conservation of globally important biodiversity and associated land and forest resources of Western Tian Shan mountain ecosystems to support sustainable livelihoods.”

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