Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Beethoven Pastoral Project on World Environment Day, in New York today:
I am pleased to greet the Beethoven Pastoral Project on World Environment Day. This year we commemorate 250 years since the great composer’s birth.
In his Pastoral Symphony, Beethoven used music to emphasize humanity’s close relationship with nature. Today, nature is sending us a clear message. We are harming the natural world — to our own detriment.
Habitat degradation and biodiversity loss are accelerating. Climate disruption is getting worse. Fires, floods, droughts and superstorms are more frequent and damaging. Oceans are heating and acidifying, destroying coral ecosystems.
And now, a new coronavirus is raging, undermining health and livelihoods. To care for humanity, we must care for nature. We need our entire global community to commit to a green, resilient and climate-friendly future. Let’s listen again to Beethoven and heed the message of his music.