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UN Secretary General's Message on World Environment Day and speech by the UN Resident and Humanitar

06-06-2016, 06:05 AM
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UN Secretary General's Message on World Environment Day and speech by the UN Resident and Humanitar

    05:05 AM June, 06 2016

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    World Environment Day Remarks
    Friendship Hall, Khartoum
    5 June 2016
    Excellency, Mr. Hassabo Mohammed Abdel Rahman, Vice President,
    Excellency, Dr. Hassan Abdelgadir Hilal, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development
    Excellency Mr Ali Musa Tower, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment,
    Dr. Omar Mustafa Abdel Kader, Undersecretary, Ministry of Environment
    Excellency Ambassadors and Diplomats
    Colleagues from the United Nations
    Colleagues from different Ministries,
    Distinguished Guests,
    Assalam Elikum, Sabah Elkhair, Good Morning,
    I am honoured to have this opportunity to represent the United Nations, and say a few words, and to read to this gathering the message of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, to mark the World Environment Day.

    Excellencies,
    Every year on 5th June, World Environment Day is celebrated -- it is the day on which the national governments, civil society, and the United Nations encourage awareness and action for the environment worldwide. Over the years it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, celebrated widely by humanity in every country.

    Excellences,
    I just cannot overstate the importance of environment to the future of the human race. Environmental degradation multiplies long-term risks of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. The most food insecure rural communities are the most dependent on the environment to sustain their livelihoods. Indeed, environmental degradation and natural resource scarcity increases the risk of human displacement. It is now well accepted that climate change will make natural disasters- such as floods and droughts- more frequent and intense and water scares. Environment is truly a global challenge of immense significance to us all individually and collectively.

    Sudan is a country of great ecosystems -- inhabiting diverse plants, animals, forests, wildlife and habitats in multiple environmental systems making it endowed with flora and fauna. Biodiversity provides the basis for sustainable social and economic development; and preserves ecological safety and food security. In this context, it is encouraging to note that Sudan has taken significant steps to protect its environmental resources, in collaboration with various development partners. For example, Sudan has developed a series of policy documents such as the National Adaptation Plan, National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, National Communication Reports. In addition, Sudan has been implementing a series of Biodiversity and Protected Area Management projects since the 1990s.

    Excellences,
    Allow me to reiterate the importance of partnerships and stronger coordination among all stakeholders to protect the environment and build resilience to current and future climate risks. Here I would like to note the cooperation and contributions that have been extended by the UN family, including The United Nations Environment Program, United Nations Development Programme, FAO, WFP and other international organizations, as well as the civil society, national NGOs and academia, working in the field of environmental conservation, wildlife protection and regeneration. UN partners in Sudan are currently developing the next United Nations Development Assitane Framework (2018 - 2022) to align with GoS priorities and the national development plans. The UNDAF has a dedicated pillar to support environment, climate resilience and natural resource management – with a strong focus on greater coordination, better data management and stronger accountability for environmental and climate as a pillar of development.
    Excellences,
    As you know, this years’ slogan for World Environment Day is “Go Wild for Life” it calls upon us to spread the word about wildlife crime and the damage it does, and to challenge all those around you to do what they can to prevent it. It is also a call to fight against the illegal trade in wildlife which erodes precious biodiversity and threatens the survival of many species. It also undermines our economies, communities and security.
    Excellences,
    In this context, I would like to read to you the message of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, on this occasion of World Environment Day:

    I quote:

    “This year’s observance of World Environment Day shines a much-needed spotlight on the illegal trade in wildlife. There is grave cause for alarm. Elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory, rhinos for their horns, and pangolins for their scales. From sea turtles to tigers to rosewood, thousands of species of wild animals and plants are being driven ever closer to extinction. The businesses and individuals involved are motivated solely by short-term gain at the expense of long-term benefit to communities and habitats. In many instances, they act in collusion with transnational organized crime networks and groups actively involved in destabilizing nations.

    The United Nations and its many partners have resolved to tackle this illicit trade, including by setting clear targets to put an end to poaching in the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year by all 193 Member States. Last month, at the second United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, we launched a UN “Wild For Life” global campaign, led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Convention on the International Trade in Wild Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). The campaign asks everyone to pledge to end the illegal trade in wildlife, from ordinary citizens, who can ensure they do not buy prohibited products, to governments, who can pursue change though implementing effective policies to protect species and ecosystems.

    Angola, which is this year’s World Environment Day global host, has served notice that it will no longer tolerate the sale of illegal wildlife products, and is strengthening legislation and increasing border controls as part of efforts to restore elephant populations that were devastated by the country’s civil war. Such action sends a strong message that wild species of plants and animals are a precious commodity that must be sustainably managed and protected from illegal trade.

    On this World Environment Day, I urge people and governments everywhere to overcome indifference, combat greed and act to preserve our natural heritage for the benefit of this and future generations”.
    End of quote.

    I would like to take this opportunity to extend my congratulations to the Ministry of Environment, Civil Society, Private Companies, Academic and Research Institutions and other stakeholders who participated in this important event. Such dedicated efforts and active participation in this event are an important instrument for spreading understanding on the importance of preserving our environment.

    Thank you



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