Peter Thompson

UN Special Envoy for the Ocean (UNSEO)


Warm greetings to you all from the South Pacific where I’m recording this video in the company of my four granddaughters. I often refer to them in my Ocean Action speeches, stressing the point that all our endeavours should be ruled by the principle of intergenerational justice; so it’s great to be shooting this message in their company. 

This year on March 3rd, the celebration of the UN’s World Wildlife Day will coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of CITES. Fifty years on, we see how this great multilateral convention has brought us into a saner relationship with Mother Nature. We encounter its effectiveness every time we cross an international border. 

But now, the Climate Crisis and Biodiversity Loss, offer the prospect of an extinction of species akin to the demise of the dinosaurs. Great hope of avoiding that prospect comes from the recent adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework, so that the supreme challenge now is to implement the framework’s targets with utmost integrity.  

And let us also acknowledge that the scourge of illegal trade in wildlife continues to flourish. We know who the perpetrators are and since there is no acceptable excuse for this human travesty, our combined efforts to eliminate the trade must be unrelenting.  

Here on the Ocean’s shore, I remind all that from the equator to the poles, from the glittering surface to the wonders of the deep sea, 80% of the planet’s biodiversity lies out there. We must never take its well-being for granted, for like terrestrial life, it too is threatened.  

We overcome such threats by working together in partnership and wildlife conservation is no exception to that rule. So in the company of my granddaughters, I join the call for all to engage in partnerships to protect the remaining wildlife of this planet. 

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