More than 100 countries have signed an agreement to take “urgent action” to protect biodiversity amid a rapid loss of the world's species.
Countries signed the Kunming Declaration Wednesday, which calls for “integrated action” to implement biodiversity protection measures in their economies, according to Reuters. The declaration was signed at a United Nations climate conference in the Chinese city of Kunming.
The declaration, however, did not include specific targets to combat plant and animal species loss, which is at a critical point after having reached its fastest rate in 10 million years.
It also acknowledged "with grave concern that the unprecedented and interrelated crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, land degradation and desertification, ocean degradation, and pollution, and increasing risks to human health and food security, pose an existential threat to our society, our culture, our prosperity and our planet."
A first draft of the declaration released in August garnered criticism for including political slogans associated with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The declaration was ultimately amended following input from more than 40 countries, according to the wire service.
Reuters has reported that there were complaints by several countries, like Japan, that the language used in the initial declaration lacked clarity and that China had pushed the declaration through without significant discussions taking place.
A similar declaration was signed in the Japanese city of Aichi in 2010, with targets for 2020. None were met.
The news comes after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared 23 species, including one plant species, extinct that had been on the endangered list.
Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Dems vow to keep emissions cuts Biden administration orders two-year study on Minnesota metals mine Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Biden administration breaks down climate finance roadmap MORE warned at the time that climate change will increase the conditions that lead to their extinction.
“Now is the time to lift up proactive, collaborative, and innovative efforts to save America's wildlife,” she said.