The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity welcomes Pope Francis’ call to action
in the face of global biodiversity loss, climate change and environmental degradation.
Biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides are a critical foundation of the Earth’s life
support system on which the welfare of current and future generations depend. Biodiversity plays
a major role in mitigating climate change by contributing to long-term sequestration of carbon in
a number of biomes. Biodiversity also underpins food security, human health and well-being, and
plays a vital role in disaster risk reduction. Protecting ecosystems and ensuring access to
ecosystem services by poor and vulnerable groups are an essential part of poverty eradication.
The encyclical sends a clear message to the world – Catholics and non-Catholics alike – that
global action is critical. We stand at an important crossroads for biodiversity and the well-being
of humanity. The actions we take or fail to take in the next few years will decisively impact all
life on Earth. Thus the time for global action is now, by governments, businesses, civil society,
indigenous peoples and by individuals. We owe it to future generations to ensure that biodiversity
will provide them with the same benefits that we enjoy. That is truly the future we want, a future
of life in harmony with nature.