Statement delivered by the Delegation of Eritrea at the International Meeting, “Stockholm+ 50: a Healthy Planet for the Prosperity of All – Our responsibility, Our opportunity” 2-3 June, 2022
Ladies and gentleman
It is my honor to address you this afternoon on behalf of the Government of the State of Eritrea.
It heightens our concerns to think that we are losing the fight of protecting our one and only planet, but this is the reality of the situation. No Glasgow pact nor renewed commitments can undo the harm done to our planet unless we fulfill our past commitments and promises.
While we are celebrating the Stockholm+50 International meeting and commemorating the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment we should ask ourselves: What is our world looking like today compared to 50 years ago? Notwithstanding the many meetings and conferences held, what actual advancement have we made to secure a healthy planet for all?
The Government of the State of Eritrea enacted a national ban on plastic bags in early 2005, today, Eritreans use cloth, nylon, or straw bags, many of which are locally manufactured. Eritrea as one of the countries in the developing world whose GHG emission footprint is close to none is committed to embarking on a carbon-neutral sustainable development pathway within the decade of action.
Realizing the critical importance of biodiversity and ecosystems services in supporting economic growth, sustainable development, livelihood, and human well-being and its contribution to achieving the 2030 agenda, the Government of the State of Eritrea has developed and mainstreamed a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) that encompass 18 ecosystem-based targets, mainly on marine, agriculture and terrestrial setting.
Eritrea is committed to undertaking effective measures to stop the loss of and protect, biodiversity and ecosystem services, which is fundamental to achieving the sustainable development goals and rebuilding a resilient post-pandemic world.
Eritrea, like most other countries in our region, has a very vulnerable ecosystem. It is among the countries hardest hit by the effects of climate change due to its geographic location and low adaptive capability. Recurrent drought, unpredictable patterns of rainfall, spatial and temporal variability and subsequent water scarcity and depletion, crop failure and livestock death, genetic erosion, loss of endemic species, and the list goes on. All these difficulties, unless skillfully addressed, will erode the resilience of communities and add up to the embedment of poverty, and challenge development progress.
As climate change is borderless, no country, regardless of its emission contribution and coping capabilities, can escape from its impacts. Comparable to its scale and magnitude, mitigation of climate change impacts requires concerted global efforts and can only be achieved, if the international community, based on the principles of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), makes an ambitious contribution toward Greenhouse Gas emission reduction on the bases of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC).
Eritrea acknowledges the need for a clear strategic framework so as to contribute to averting global biodiversity loss. This indeed will contribute to the sustainable development goals and pave the way for the attainment of the vision “living in harmony with nature”.
Ladies and gentleman
The reference to political will is often made in various fora but the political will is determined by all of us, the International Community. On this occasion, let us renew our commitments and show solidarity with the countries most affected by climate change and let us ensure that another 50 years won’t pass-by without having secured a safer planet for generations to come.
Eritrea with all its challenges, past and present, is fully committed to adhere to the commitments it made under the UNFCCC convention and is guided by the principles therein.
I thank you for your kind attention.