Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. Ákos Kozma and Ombudsman for Future Generations Dr. Gyula Bándi called attention to the importance of the implementation of the global goals for the protection of biodiversity on the national level and on the need for active action on the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity.

Every year, we commemorate the adoption of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity on 22 May, which, breaking with the earlier concept of protection, has set the goal of sustaining all living creatures and living systems, the universal protection of all forms of life on Earth, striving for balance between conservation, use and the sharing of benefits. 

This festive day holds special significance each year. The importance of this year’s celebration lies in that as a conclusion to the 15th conference of the state parties to the Convention (COP), the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was adopted by as many as 196 countries, which is aimed at ending and reversing the further loss of semi-natural habitats and the reduction of biological diversity. In the spirit of this historic achievement, the theme of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity is the following: “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity”, which builds on the achievements of COP 15 and places focus on genuine and active implementation. 

GBF defines twenty-three main targets. Some of the key targets suggest the following: the criteria of the protection of biological diversity should be enforced in regional planning; at least 30% of the degraded ecosystems of the world should be restored; it should be ensured that the restored ecosystems are not degraded in the long run either; at least 30% of the world’s lands, inland waters, coastal areas and oceans should be effectively protected; furthermore, these territories should be properly cultivated; the continued extinction of known species should be stopped; the utilization of undomesticated species should be made sustainable; as well as the subsidies that exert an adverse effect on biological diversity should be reduced by several hundreds of billions of dollars each year by 2030. 

The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and the Ombudsman for Future Generations remind that the consequences of the significant decrease in biological diversity jeopardize human rights from many aspects. The condition of biodiversity determines the components of a healthy environment, so its deterioration may jeopardize the fundamental rights to life, health, food, as well as safe drinking water. The situation is that the survival of all those services provided by nature whose vital role we only understand when we lose all or a part of them depends on the preservation of biological diversity. The resources of biological diversity, along with the services provided by the ecosystem are those pillars on which our civilization is built, and they contribute to ensuring the bases for our society and economy to a considerable extent as well.

In order to fulfil the globally accepted objectives, Hungary also needs to take urgent steps in the key areas. Thus, for example, the adoption of the National Strategy for Biodiversity for the period ending in 2030 by the National Assembly would be vital and urgent, along with the preparation of action plans, national biodiversity financing strategies, the launching of projects ensuring the restoration of nature and nature protection, furthermore, the broad dissemination of nature-based solutions (blue-green infrastructure).

The protection of the diversity of nature, i.e. biological diversity is the responsibility and obligation of each person, pursuant to Article P) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary. The Ombudsman and his deputy call attention to the fact that the maintenance of the status quo is not sufficient any more, it is time to take active steps for the restoration of nature.