The 2017 UNGA was a platform for President Paul Biya to rally the world to preserve the planet.
President Paul Biya during his speech at the UN General Assembly appealed to the world to save two of Africa's biggest natural habitats. Even though his address focused more on the urgent need to secure world peace, his speech also stressed the need to save the Congo Basin and the Lake Chad. Immediately after underscoring the need for firm action on the Paris Agreement, Paul Biya said, "For Africa, there are two major challenges. Firstly, ongoing forest degradation in Central Africa. Let us save the Congo Basin, the earth's second lung. Secondly, the desertification of Lake Chad, which is drying up. This vast body of water, which is essential for the survival of communities and biodiversity, has already lost 90 per cent of its initial surface. Let us save Lake Chad! By so doing, we will be contributing towards preserving the planet for the greater good of humanity," he added. The President's call came at the heels of a Global Pact for the Environment launched by the French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The pact has as primary aim to bolster international efforts to protect the environment from climate change, pollution, and other threats. Most importantly, the pact will expressly require States to protect the right to a healthy environment. The eight-page proposal has as the right to an ecologically sound environment, that already find expression in other environmental agreements. Present during the launch of the pact by President Macron was Cameroon's Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella and the Minister, Director of the Civil Cabinet at the Presidency of the Republic, Martin Belinga Eboutou. The right to a healthy environment is the first amongst the 26 articles embraced the Global Pact for the environment. President Paul Biya and his French counterpart believe our health, survival, and general wellbeing are bound to be in a healthy environment. Reason why President Macron said it was time for each government to effectively take actions to protect their environment. Cameroon's commitment to a healthy living surrounding could be seen as far back as November 28, 2015 when President Paul Biya and wife arrived in Paris, France to join other world leaders for the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change.