Environmental conservation a national duty: president

The adoption of sustainable development goals and climate change protocols by the United Nations this year will be milestones for the international community, President U Thein Sein said Friday, in222 a speech to mark World Environmental Conservation Day.
In his speech at Myanmar International Convention Centre (2), the president said the UN General Assembly is going to adopt sustainable development goals in September, while the climate change conference to be held in December in Paris will see the adoption of an ambitious global environmental pact.
It is necessary for people around the world including Myanmar to fundamentally change their individual lifestyles so that extraction, consumption and waste of natural resources will not affect the sustainability of the environment and ecosystem, the president said.
Supplying food, human needs and resources to the growing global population, which is estimated to grow from 7 billion today to 9.6 billion in 2050, is a major challenge for all countries including Myanmar, which has seen an increase in population from over 40 million in 1990 to 51.4 million today, the president added.
Then president said 925 million people around the world are facing food shortages, while another 600 million lack clean drinking water.
The president said the world loses 30 percent of its forestland, 20 percent of farmland and 10 percent of pasture land every year, having lost 50 percent loss of its wetlands between 2000 and 2010, before adding that such conditions are threatening the lives of 7 billion people.
The Myanmar constitution promulgates that the state and all its citizens shall protect the environment, the president said. The government has been adopting environmental regulations, while organizations are being formed to cooperate on environmental conservation, he said.
In addition, the government, in cooperation with international community, has emphasized environmental conservation, development of the green economy and frameworks for climate change in its 20-year plan for national development.
In conclusion, the president said active participation in environmental conservation to reduce climate change is a national duty, so that Myanmar can achieve sustainable development and hand down favourable environmental conditions to future generations.
After the president’s speech, the resident representative of UNDP read out messages of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the executive director of the UNEP.
Later, the president presented prizes to winners of an essay competition.
After the ceremony, the president viewed an environmental exhibition and posed for documentary photo with attendees.
Present at the ceremony were Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham, union ministers and deputy ministers, the resident representative of the UNDP and officials.