UN Biological Diversity gets new boss

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Montreal, April 3 (IANS): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Astrid Schomaker of Germany as the next Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

She brings extensive experience in international relations and negotiations, deep knowledge of the global sustainable development agenda and multilateral environment agreements, and policymaking on global environmental issues.

In the official announcement on Tuesday, the Secretary-General extended his appreciation and gratitude to David Cooper of the United Kingdom, who will continue to serve as Acting Executive Secretary until Schomaker assumes her functions.

Cooper, who has led the CBD Secretariat since February 2023, congratulated Schomaker on her appointment. "We are excited for the future and welcome her in her new role in this crucial moment of implementing the Biodiversity Plan," he wrote.

At the helm of the Secretariat of the world's foremost Multilateral Environmental Agreement on biodiversity, the newly appointed Executive Secretary will work with the Parties to the CBD to translate the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (the Biodiversity Plan), adopted in December 2022, into action at all levels.

Protect and restore, prosper with nature, share benefits fairly and invest and collaborate -- the four goals of the Biodiversity Plan -- will shape the new UN Biodiversity chief’s priorities.

Awaiting the freshly appointed Executive Secretary is the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP 16), which will take place from October 21 to November 1 in Cali, Colombia. By the time they meet in Cali, Parties to the convention are expected to submit revised National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) that are aligned with the Biodiversity Plan.