School of Global Governance held seminar on COP15
(2022-12-30 14:12:38)

The School of Global Governance in Renmin University of China held an online seminar on December 18th for open discussion on COP15. Participants from undergraduates to Ph.D. students all joined the discussion, and five students shared their insights.


COP15 (the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity) is the first global conference held by the United Nations on the theme of ecological progress. The conference was entitled “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”, aiming to emphasize the respect for, adaptation to and protection of nature; to achieve the sustainable use and benefit sharing of biodiversity by 2050 as proposed by the Convention; and to realize the vision of “harmonious coexistence between man and nature”.


During the seminar, Wang Yin, Ph.D. student in Philosophy of Science and Technology, gave philosophical consideration on biodiversity. He believed that the way human beings view and treat nature has great impact on their personality and life experience, which explains the significance of biodiversity. He went on to share an academic view – that humans have a moral obligation to take the necessary actions to preserve biodiversity and ensure human existence.


Other participants offered different perspectives on the issue. Zhang Jing, graduate student in Higher Education, used terms from anthropology to explain her understanding of biodiversity. The first term was animism, which believes that human beings should respect other life in nature and reject anthropocentric thinking. The other term was Anthropocene. She reflected from the perspective of evolution that though dinosaurs ruled the earth for 160 million years, they eventually became extinct. So how should human beings escape their own extinction? One possible solution is to protect biodiversity.


Undergraduate students also contributed to the discussion. Meng Lingchu was concerned about the role of developing countries in the process of global ecological protection, and noted that the supervision on developed countries to shoulder their responsibilities has also been a recurring but intractable problem.


Mao Yuyueze, on the other hand, paid close attention to certain outstanding cases of biodiversity preservation. From the case of Minjiang Estuary wetland preservation in Fujian Province, she realized in an effective process, the first thing is to restore the damaged ecology, the second to carry out long-term protection, and finally to achieve the combination of both ecological protection and economic development.


Finally, Ph.D. student Cui Yanrong expressed an optimistic view on biodiversity. One of the most popular proposals at COP15 was a commitment to protect 30% of the world’s land and oceans by 2030. In addition, she believed that government commitment and public concern are mutually reinforcing, and although there’s challenge, under the encouragement of the Paris Agreement, biodiversity will still be substantially promoted in the future.

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