Beware human rights abuses in name of conservation, warns indigenous activist – live | Environment

Good afternoon, I’m Patrick Greenfield, a biodiversity and environment reporter at the Guardian. Alongside my colleague Phoebe Weston, I’ll be live blogging proceedings from a first-of-its-kind summit at the UN in New York, where world leaders will discuss the rampant destruction of the natural world.

The talks come as the international community negotiates a set of biodiversity targets for the next decade, which the UN’s biodiversity head Elizabeth Maruma Mrema has called humanity’s last chance to reset its relationship with nature. Last decade, the world failed to meet a single target set at previous talks.

Xi Jinping, Jair Bolsonaro, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Jacinda Ardern are among more than a hundred prime ministers and presidents who will address the event. We’ll guide you through proceedings that will begin at 10am EST (3pm BST) with an address from the president of the 75th UN general assembly, Volkan Bozkır.

As well as reporting on the discussions and speeches from world leaders, we will bring you expert reaction and analysis from scientists and campaigners. Please post questions in the comment section below or tweet us at @pgreenfielduk or @phoeb0. We’ll try to get to as many of your questions as possible but we can’t promise we’ll answer everyone.

A photo taken on August 24, 2019 showing an aerial view of burnt areas of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil. (Photo via Getty Images)

A photo taken on August 24 2019 showing burned areas of the Amazon rainforest in Rondonia state, Brazil. Photograph: Carlos Fabal/AFP/Getty Images

Here is the agenda:

10:00-10:50 EST (3pm BST): UN secretary general António Guterres, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Chinese president Xi Jinping and Prince Charles are among the many dignitaries that will make statements to open the summit.

10:50-13:00 EST (3:50pm BST): World leaders including Emmanuel Macron, Muhammadu Buhari and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will make statements to the assembly.

15:00-16:15 EST (8pm BST): Leaders dialogue chaired by Angela Merkel and Imran Khan on addressing biodiversity loss and mainstreaming biodiversity for sustainable development.

16:15-17:30 EST (9:15 BST): Swedish deputy prime minister Isabella Lövin will then host a dialogue on harnessing science, technology and innovation for biodiversity with industry heads.

17:30-18:00 EST (10:30pm BST): Closing segment.

The international politics of biodiversity are complicated. If you want to know more about what to look out for in today’s summit, please read my explainer.

For hundreds of thousands of species threatened by extinction, the stakes of this summit could not be higher. Vast expanses of life-sustaining ecosystems that undermine the fabric of human civilisation are disappearing and this month, the drumbeat of studies and reports highlighting humanity’s destruction of nature is growing louder and louder. Around a million species are at risk of extinction, driven by deforestation, pollution, agriculture and the climate crisis. On average, global populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles plunged by 68% between 1970 and 2016, according to ZSL and WWF analysis.

We’ll let you know what world leaders plan to do about it throughout the day.

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