CAPE TOWN, May 18, Xinhua -- BRICS environment ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement in dealing with climate change.

In a joint statement issued after a two-day meeting in Durban, the ministers urged developed countries to continue taking the lead and support developing countries, including the transfer of needed technology, in combating climate change.

This "is one of the most critical enablers for climate action," the statement said.

With respect to climate change, BRICS countries welcome the progress towards finalizing the Work Program under the Paris Agreement and express their willingness to continue working constructively with other parties to conclude its related negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland in December 2018, said the statement.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance starting in the year 2020.

The ministers also reiterated the call to enhance cooperation and collaboration among BRICS countries in the field of biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and equitable access and benefit sharing of biological resources, and also undertake to promote cooperation in biodiversity-related international conventions and fora, particularly endangered species.

The ministers pledged to continue collaboration on these issues to ensure the success of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP14) to be held in Egypt in November 2018, and the 70th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), scheduled for October 2018 in Russia.

The meeting, part of preparations for the forthcoming BRICS Summit scheduled for July 25-27 in Johannesburg, was themed: "Strengthening cooperation amongst BRICS on circular economy in the context of the sustainable consumption and production (SCP)."

The promotion of circular approach to waste management contributes significantly to the achievement of the SCP goal as outlined in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the statement said.

"We acknowledge that the circular economy approach in the context of SCP aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life," the statement said.

At the meeting, the ministers also discussed ways to tap the vast potentials in cooperation in advancing the oceans economy among BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"We will explore enhancing our cooperation on marine protection and ocean governance taking into account that the scope for cooperation may be limited to the programs of environmental ministries, although the BRICS ocean economy cooperation will seek to influence and cooperate with all sectors of the oceans economy," the statement said.

The BRICS environment ministers have formed a forum to focus on key strategic global issues such as the global economy, trade, peace and security and reform of multi-lateral institutions.

This is the fourth time that they have met to discuss environmental issues.

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