Monica P. Medina appointed Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources

Secretary Antony Blinken Appointed Monica P. Medina as U.S. Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources, Signaling the Biden-Harris Administration’s Commitment to Addressing the Global Crises Related to Biodiversity and Water water. Monica Medina is Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and will assume the designation of Special Envoy in addition to her current duties.

The coming months are important for advancing efforts to address these crises, and strengthened American leadership is essential to raising global ambition and ensuring a healthier planet for generations to come. The 2022 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), the December meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the Intergovernmental Conference negotiating a new agreement on the conservation and Sustainable Use of High Seas Biodiversity (BBNJ) presents a unique confluence of global efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and promote water security. Special Envoy Medina will coordinate a whole-of-government effort to address these crises holistically – leveraging the talents and expertise of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs with resources from all government departments and agencies. federal government. In addition, her appointment as Special Envoy will strengthen the Department’s role in implementing the White House Water Security Action Plan and Global Water Strategy, and ensure a high-level leadership ahead of the 2023 UN Water Conference.

Decades of evidence show that water security is essential to global efforts to increase equity and economic growth, build inclusive and resilient societies, strengthen health and food security, reduce the risk of conflict or instability and to tackle the climate crisis. Meanwhile, environmental stressors, like the climate crisis, nature-related crime – including illegal logging, mining, land conversion and wildlife trafficking – are having impacts profound and damaging effects on our planet’s biodiversity and the availability of clean and safe water for human use. The two crises are inextricably linked, and the State Department and Special Envoy Medina are committed to addressing the crises holistically.

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