UNITED NATIONS: Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid Friday urged collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems so that human health and well-being are not endangered. “We are wreaking havoc on our own home – the only home we have, the one home we all share,” President Shahid told an interactive dialogue on Harmony with Nature. Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the ‘Group of 77’ developing countries and China, echoed UNGA president’s words, warning that if the current trend of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation continued, “we would seriously jeopardize our existence on this planet.” “It is scientifically proven that the loss in biological diversity would pose a threat to our society, our culture, our prosperity, and our planet,” said Umer Younis, an official of the Pakistan Mission to the UN. In his remarks, Shahid, the president of 193-member Assembly, urged the international community to accept responsibility for its reckless behaviour, noting that science has shown that our continued and careless encroachment into the world’s ecosystems has damaged biodiversity and endangered human health and well-being. Referencing this year’s theme of ‘Harmony with Nature and Biodiversity: Ecological economics and Earth-centered law’, President Shahid called for a shift to green economies and highlighted the need to embrace education, technology, and science. He said the international community needs to use the tools and targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as blueprints for a sustainable recovery from COVID-19. The interactive dialogue is called for in General assembly resolution 75/220, to discuss the relationship between harmony with nature and the protection of biological diversity, and to inspire citizens and societies to reconsider how they interact with the natural world in the context of sustainable development.