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King to host palace event backing action on biodiversity

King Charles will meet global political and financial leaders at Buckingham Palace on Friday to support action on restoring the natural world.

It will follow a major government meeting aimed at kickstarting private fundraising for nature.

In December nations promised to prevent what scientists call the “sixth mass extinction event”.

Biodiversity – the variety of living things – is declining faster than at any time in human history.

Leaders at the UN’s COP15 summit last year promised to stop the extinction of species and raise £167 billion ($200 billion) a year to protect nature.

In the historic deal known as the Global Biodiversity Framework, almost 200 countries pledged to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 to allow nature to flourish.

If no progress is made in restoring biodiversity, the UN has warned that up to a million species are at risk of extinction by 2050.

Ahead of the government meeting, Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey promised it would bring together private and public sectors as well as charities to discuss how money can be raised to meet the financial goals set at COP15.

Representatives from other nations, as well as banks and indigenous communities are expected to join.

Biodiversity is in crisis across the globe – half of coral reefs have disappeared and scientists say 75% of the Earth’s surface is degraded. Between 2001 and 2021 the world lost 437 million hectares of tree cover.

Human activity plays a big role on this. In 2019, a United Nations report said that harvesting, logging, hunting and fishing are causing overexploitation, of animals, plants and other organisms.

The UK is one of most nature-depleted nations in the world, according to experts.

No river in England can be given a clean bill of health from chemicals, sewage and other pollutants released into waterways.

Government efforts to improve England’s environment have also been called inadequate by the independent Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

In January the government released a plan to protect rare wildlife and clean up land and water over the next five years.

King Charles has spent much of his life campaigning to protect the environment. In November he hosted a reception to discuss tackling climate change ahead of the UN COP27 summit in Egypt.


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