Protecting biodiversity, the top priority of mankind requires countries of the world to uphold multilateralism, Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming has said.

“Only in the spirit of multilateralism and only when every country does its best and work for mutual benefit can countries of the world enhance cooperation on biodiversity protection and promote sustainable development,” Liu said Wednesday in a keynote speech at an online seminar about international conservation hosted by Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Groups.

In 2021, China and Britain will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the UN climate talks (COP26) respectively, Liu noted.

“These are two big events not only for China and the UK but also for global governance on the environment. Therefore, 2021 can well be called ‘a big year’ for global governance on the environment,” said Liu at the “International Legislators’ Summit — Protecting Nature: The Road to Kunming”.

Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, is preparing for COP15, rescheduled for May next year after delay by COVID-19.

COP26, originally slated to take place in Glasgow in November this year, was postponed until next year due to the pandemic.

The global conference, under the aegis of the United Nations, will review the post-2020 biodiversity framework and set new global biodiversity targets for 2030

Liu called on Britain to work with China to step up coordination and cooperation on hosting COP15 and COP26 while deepening green cooperation and take the lead in global sustainable development.

“We can tap the potential for green cooperation in areas such as climate change, biodiversity protection, low-carbon economy, green finance, green technology and energy transition. We can also step up tri-party cooperation in building the green Belt & Road,” said Liu.

Together, China and Britain can advance the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provide new impetus for global sustainable growth, he said, calling on the two countries to uphold multilateralism and help build synergy among the parties for better governance on biodiversity.

“Both China and the UK should uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits, and accommodate developing countries’ concerns over funding, technology and capacity building,” he said.

“China stands ready to work with all the participating parties, including the UK, to conclude an ambitious and pragmatic Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15 through an open, transparent and parties-driven process,” he said. “Together we can draw a blueprint that is both grand and feasible, and we can open up broader prospects for global biodiversity protection in the future.”