Developed countries must provide bold financial support for the countries of the Global South as custodians of the world's natural wealth, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said here on Tuesday.
Addressing a ceremonial opening of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Guterres said that international financial institutions and multilateral development banks must align their portfolios with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
"We cannot expect developing countries to shoulder the burden alone," he said.
The secretary-general also called for the implementation of national plans that would divert subsidies and tax breaks away from activities that can destroy nature, as well as the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
He argued that the private sector should recognize that profit and protection go hand-in-hand.
"It is up to us to accept responsibility for the damage we have caused, and take action to fix it. The deluded dreams of billionaires aside, there is no Planet B," said the secretary-general.