UN calls for immediate action on saving species
TOKYO (AFP) - The world must act immediately to stop the rapid loss of animal and plant species and the habitats they live in, the United Nations warned on Monday at the start of a major summit on biodiversity.
The 193 members of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) began gathering in the central city of Nagoya to try to work out strategies to head off a man-made mass extinction.
"The time to act is now and the place to act is here," CBD executive secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf said as the meeting opened, describing the event as a "defining moment" in the history of mankind.
"The savings from a coordinated ecosystems approach to climate change, biodiversity loss, avoiding deforestation and land degradation are incalculable."
The 12-day conference aims to throw a spotlight on a global environmental issue that has drawn less attention in recent years than the related problem of man-made climate change, blamed on a surge of greenhouse gas emissions.
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