Cheers for Africa, jeers for Canada at biodiversity conferenceI
Union got the thumbs up for their pro-active role in biodiversity
conservation at the ongoing UN biodiversity conference and was
selected for the "Busy Bee Award" 2012 while Canada was slammed
and given the "Dodo Award" for contributing to biodiversity loss. »
Hyderabad: In a major
breakthrough at the United Nations' conference on biological
diversity, which concluded here early Saturday, the developed
countries agreed to double funding by 2015 to protect the planet's
animal and plant species.
After marathon discussions that continued well past midnight, the
11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the
United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) reached an
agreement to increase funding in support of actions to halt the
rate of loss of biodiversity.
"Developed countries agreed to double funding to support efforts
in developing states towards meeting the internationally-agreed
biodiversity targets, and the main goals of the Strategic Plan for
Biodiversity 2011-2020," said a release from the CBD secretariat.
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, executive secretary of the CBD,
said: "These results, coming in a period of economic crisis,
demonstrate that the world is committed to implementing the CBD."
Using a baseline figure of the average annual national spending on
biodiversity between 2006 and 2010, developed countries said they
would double biodiversity-related international financial flows by
According to sources, this means $12 billion would be available
every year for biodiversity conservation as against the average $6
billion per annum earmarked between 2006 and 2010.
The observers say the summit succeeded in evolving a consensus
despite the reluctance of developed countries to commit additional
funding in view of the economic slowdown.
However, the task on hand is still huge with India-UK High Level
Panel chaired by environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev, estimating
that $150 billion to $440 billion per annum is required to meet
Resource mobilisation to achieve biodiversity targets by 2020 and
implement the strategic plan, was the most contentious issue at
the two-week conference, attended by over 14,000 delegates from
The working group on resource mobilisation met several times since
Friday evening to iron out differences between the developing and
India, as the chair of the summit, played a key role in ending the
logjam over resource mobilisation by proposing a middle path.
Supported by G-77 and China, India called upon parties to reach an
agreement and to avoid a collective failure to advance the cause
of biodiversity conservation.
"The present economic crisis should not deter the world, but on
the contrary, encourage investment towards amelioration of the
natural capital for ensuring uninterrupted ecosystem services, on
which all life on earth depends," said Environment Minister
COP10 at Nagoya, Japan in 2010 had set 20 biodiversity targets
known as Aichi targets to turn back biodiversity decline by 2020.
The targets include halving the rate of habitat loss, preventing
the extinction of species on the threatened list, expanding water
and land areas under conservation and restoring at least 15
percent of degraded ecosystems.
But the plan was stuck due to lack of money for conservation.
The COP also set targets to increase the number of countries that
have included biodiversity in their national development plans and
agreed to prepare national financial plans for biodiversity by
"All parties agreed to substantially increase domestic
expenditures for biodiversity protection over the same period,"
said the CBD statement.
For the first time, developing countries at COP 11, including
India and several African countries, pledged additional funds
above and beyond their core funding towards the work of the CBD.
The meet also decided to pay special attention to
biodiversity-rich marine areas. The Sargasso Sea, the Tonga
archipelago and key coral sites off the coast of Brazil are among
a range of marine areas to receive special attention from
Other key decisions at the conference included new measures to
factor biodiversity into environmental impact assessments linked
to infrastructure and other development projects in marine and