Mobilising resouces for biodiversity

 

Following the adoption in Nagoya in 2010 of the ambitious 2020 Aichi Targets for biodiversity, what could a subsequent meeting hope to achieve? This was the challenge facing the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) when they held their 11th Conference of the Parties in Hyderabad, India, in October.

 

Sign welcoming delegates to the CBD CoP in Hyderabad © Vin FlemingBut there was important unfinished business from Nagoya. Whilst the Aichi targets and the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing were important steps forward in securing the future of biodiversity and the services it provides (and upon which we all depend), the question remained as to how the resources needed to achieve these targets would be provided, especially to developing countries.

 

The discussions around commitments to a ‘Resource Mobilisation Strategy’ were the most difficult of the conference and were only resolved late on the final day. The UK was instrumental here through the presence of the Defra minister, Richard Benyon, who led the UK delegation in the second week. The UK, working closely with India, also facilitated a High Level Panel to estimate the costs required to achieve the Aichi Targets. Ultimately, Parties agreed, amongst other things, to a doubling of biodiversity-related international finance flows to developing countries by 2015. This investment will be maintained until 2020.

 

Away from the headline discussions, JNCC staff Vin Fleming and Vicky Morgan supported Defra and led for the UK on a range of topics such as ecosystem restoration, the sustainable use of biodiversity (especially bushmeat), inland waters, invasive alien species and biofuels. Other topics which provoked controversy included synthetic biology, a new and emerging technology in which the UK is one of the world leaders, for which others sought, unsuccessfully, a moratorium on its application.

 

Samia Sarkis (Bermuda) discusses CoP issues with Eric Blencowe (Defra) before EU coordination © Vin Fleming

The UK delegates were joined by Samia Sarkis, from the UK Overseas Territory of Bermuda, whose attendance was supported by JNCC. Key issues of interest to the UK  Overseas Territories included a review of work on island biodiversity (also important to the UK as an island, with numerous offshore islands), decisions on invasive alien species, and the identification of ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) in the marine environment.  The latter was especially important to Bermuda given their interest in promoting the protection of the Sargasso Sea which the Conference formally recognised as an EBSA.

 

In all over 30 Decisions were adopted at the Conference and approximately 5000 delegates attended to follow debates or to share information in the numerous side events. CBD Parties will now re-convene in the Republic of Korea in late 2014 to assess interim progress against the Aichi targets.

 

 

Contact File

 

Vin Fleming

Head of Global Programme

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866870

 

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