Biodiversity crucial for life on Earth, Polish president says at UN

Preserving biodiversity is vital for life on Earth, Polish President Andrzej Duda said at a UN summit devoted to biodiversity on Wednesday as he stressed what he called Poland's centuries-long track record in environmental protection.

The Polish president's pre-recorded address was screened at the plenary session at the United Nations, which was held predominantly online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Actions aimed at preserving and restoring biological diversity require close cooperation at both the global and national levels, Duda said at the beginning of his speech.

Speaking of his country, Duda said that sustainable and reasonable use of natural resources has been a part of Poland's tradition and culture. Polish scientists and environmentalists were among the advocates of creating the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1948, and Poland boasts the status of a founding member of the organisation, he said.

Duda named Poland's multi-functional forest management as an excellent example of care for the preservation and growth of biodiversity, saying it maintains a balance between the forests' environmental, social and economic functions.

He went on to say that the network of protected areas in Poland, including 23 national parks, nature reserves and Natura 2000 areas, cover about 40 percent of the country.

He mentioned Poland's success in restoring the European bison that was threatened with extinction after World War II and the contribution of Polish farmers to environmental protection.

In his conclusion, Duda said that today's actions will have a fundamental significance for future generations.