193 countries have agreed to adopt the most important document consolidating global efforts to protect and preserve biodiversity in a fair and systemic way
After years of negotiations, the world finally has the bible to guide biodiversity protection and preservation efforts globally.
The 193 signatory countries worldwide, Bhutan included, of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) adopted a historic protocol at Nagoya in Japan last week.
The Nagoya meet can be mainly summarized in three important decisions. Firstly, the adoption of a new 10-year Strategic Plan to guide international and national efforts to save biodiversity through enhanced action.
Secondly, it also finalized a resource mobilization strategy that provides the way forward to a substantial increase to current levels of official development assistance in support of biodiversity.
Finally, a new international protocol, to be called the Ngoya Protocol, was agreed upon to allow the access and to share the benefits from the use of the genetic resources of the planet. The protocol will also act as a guide to nations in protecting and preserving biological diversity.
The Nagoya meet will go down in the history of conserving biodiversity as one of the most successful forum on biodiversity.
“If Kyoto entered history as the city where the climate accord was born, Nagoya will be remembered as the city where the biodiversity accord was born,” said the Executive Secretary of the Convention, Ahmed Djoghlaf.
He also said that Nagoya has given birth to a new era of living in harmony and a new global alliance to protect life on earth.
The Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity or the “Aichi Target”, adopted by the meeting includes 20 headline targets, organized under five strategic goals that address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, reducing the pressures on biodiversity, safeguarding biodiversity at all levels, enhancing the benefits provided by biodiversity, and providing for capacity-building.
The 193 countries agreed to at least halve and where feasible bring the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests close to zero.
They also established a target to retain 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of marine and coastal areas. Through conservation and restoration, governments will restore at least 15% of degraded areas and will make special efforts to reduce the pressures faced by coral reefs.
The President of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10), the Minister of the Environment of Japan, Mr. Ryu Matsumoto, said, “The outcome of this meeting is the result of hard work, the willingness to compromise, and a concern for the future of our planet. With this strong outcome, we can begin the process of building a relationship of harmony with our world, into the future.”
The conservation of biodiversity also received support of many donor communities. Representatives of 34 bilateral and multilateral donor agencies agreed to translate the plan into their respective development cooperation priorities.
The Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Naoto Kan, announced US$ 2bn for financing the implementation of the convention. Additional financial resources were announced by France, the European Union and Norway. Some US$ 110mn was mobilized in support of projects under the CBD LifeWeb Initiative aimed at enhancing the protected-area agenda.
It was also decided that financial support for the strategic plan of the Convention will be provided under the framework of the resource mobilization strategy.
Bhutan became a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity – a multilateral environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations to address the concerns of loss of biodiversity through international cooperation and collective actions - in 1995, three years after the Convention was conceived.
Bhutan’s effort in conserving biodiversity has several initiatives. These include the establishment of protected areas; establishment of biological corridors linking the protected areas; creation of conservation areas outside the protected areas system; targeted programs to protect globally threatened keystone species such as the tiger, snow leopard, white-bellied heron, and black-necked crane; the establishment of the National Biodiversity Center including facilities such as the Royal Bhutan Gene Bank and Royal Botanical Garden; and strengthening of programs to conserve indigenous varieties of plant and animal genetic resources.
Bhutan is recognized as one of the world’s most important areas for biodiversity conservation because of the great diversity and concentration of plants, animals, and habitats protected.