The Asia-Pacific Business Forum in Hong Kong highlighted the need for massive investment to achieve the SDGs, and the potential for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence to produce social and economic benefits.
ESCAP and Cyberport, a technology community managed by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, jointly organized the two-day meeting on the role of business in sustainable development.
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The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs addressed Asian leaders on the importance of regional cooperation for achieving the SDGs, at the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia.
Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, cited China’s Belt and Road Initiative as an example of regional cooperation that could potentially support efforts toward achieving the SDGs.
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WWF director general Marco Lambertini at Ecosperity observed that the speed of the natural disappearance was almost 1,000 times that of the original, and it was also the fastest reduction in species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
WWF’s Living Planet report from 2016 showed that of 3,706 wildlife populations around the world, 60 per cent have disappeared in the last 40 years.
“We need to work out the invisible value of nature,” says Lambertini. “We cannot have a prosperous society in a depleted planet.”
Services provided by nature, such as trees that filter air and water, plants that store carbon, insects that pollinate crops, and the mental health benefits of green areas, are valued at $125 trillion a year, reaching $145 trillion. The study also found that losses caused by land use change amount to 4 to 20 trillion U.S. dollars per year found by a study in 2014 by ecologists.
Lambertini claimed that “We need to make biodiversity loss and nature loss a serious issue, an issue that people are afraid of,” he says. “We are scared of climate change, but the loss of nature is “even more scary,”.
Why biodiversity loss is scarier than climate change
FIA Foundation Deputy Director Avi Silverman said: “These targets are essential if there is to be global progress towards the SDG agenda on road safety. They provide a clear set of actions to be prioritized by governments worldwide. And importantly, they take into account the needs of children and the vulnerable, setting the key objectives to save lives on the world’s roads.”
The goal of Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 is to halve the number of road traffic casualties by 2020. The focus of SRD 11.2 is to provide everyone with a safe and sustainable transportation system, improve road safety and pay special attention to children and vulnerable groups.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “Road injuries are the top cause of death for young people. It is simply not possible to improve child and adolescent health if we don’t address road traffic crashes”, which had emphasized the importance of the work, particularly for children and youngsters.
Read More: Governments have reached agreement on a set of global targets intended to drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda on road safety
Download: FIA Foundation Annual Report 2017