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On Friday, September 16, the Secretary General for Research and Innovation, Mr. Athanasios Kyriazis, participated online in the plenary session on Biodiversity, one of the key topics of the eighth Scientific Session of the United Nations General Assembly (SSUNGA77). The topic of biodiversity was introduced at the initiative of the European Research Infrastructure LifeWatch ERIC in collaboration with the International Biodiversity Organization Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) but also with the participation of many partners and stakeholders from Europe and the whole world.

In his opening speech, Mr. Kyriazis referred, among other things, to the priority that smart investments in preparedness and resilience to climate change now have for governments and for many international organizations and the many consequent benefits, such as job vacancies, economic growth, education opportunities, improved gender equality and environmental protection.

He also added that in this context, the contribution of research policymakers to raising public awareness of the role and contribution of science and innovation in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is of particular importance.

In particular, he pointed out that biodiversity is fundamental for human health and critical for sustainable development, while referring to the common root causes of biodiversity decline and the risk of future pandemics, such as forest degradation and habitat fragmentation. Accordingly, he said that implementing more effective biodiversity policies, combined with the application of science and technology, can reduce the risk of future pandemics. In this context, he added that research institutions and the academic community play, nowadays, a decisive role in the development of new crisis management methods and promote cutting-edge technologies.

He then observed that Greece has included in its priorities, as defined through the National Smart Specialization Strategy of the Programming Period 2021-2027, eight large thematic areas related to the issue of biodiversity, with the aim of preserving and restoring it, tackling climate change but also a way of producing, consuming and trading goods and services that will be based on biodiversity but also will affect it Positive.

Mr. Kyriazis concluded his speech by pointing out that even greater efforts are needed by all of us to address the direct and indirect factors of biodiversity loss, such as taking comprehensive and holistic approaches to their design and implementation, as well as greater interaction between policymakers, economic sectors and society.