New York, 30 September 2020. Cuba participated today in the Summit on Biodiversity, held online during the high-level week of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba, participated in the event and pointed out that in the extremely adverse context of the global health crisis caused by COVID-19, is not difficult to predict that soon we will witness new and greater damage to biodiversity due to the pandemic. She noted that this will aggravate the already existing degradation of ecosystems.
The Cuban Minister of Science, Technology and Environment recalled that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is being negotiated, which should serve for the performance of production sectors and establishing a real commitment of financial resources, knowledge and technologies in favor of developing countries.
Regarding Cuba, Perez Montoya stated that we continue giving priority to the enjoyment of a healthy and balanced environment, supported by the new Constitution. She mentioned the implementation of the 2016-2020 National Program on Biological Diversity, which has allowed progress in the sustainable management and restoration of marine-coastal and terrestrial ecosystems; the increase of actions to prevent and confront illegalities that affect biological diversity by the adoption of a Governmental Plan to address this problem, and the strengthening of the National System of Protected Areas, which covers 20.4 percent of the national territory.
The Minister stressed that the Caribbean country, in light of 2030, has engaged in the increase of forest areas by up to 33 percent, water reuse by 15 percent, gradual reduction of single-use plastic and other sources of land pollution; renewable energy production up to 24 percent, as well as the implementation of financial solutions that contribute to the fulfillment of national biodiversity goals.
Likewise, she affirmed that the main obstacle her country has to advance in these matters is the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States, which has been tightened by the current Administration. She underscored that without the blockade, Cuba would have more access to financial resources, supplies and technologies, and fewer limitations for the development of its international cooperation, especially South-South cooperation.
Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations