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Monday, October 29, 2012

biodiversity conservation to see increased funding

At United Nations Biodiversity Conference, developed countries agreed to double resources for biodiversity protection by 2015

Countries party to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity has agreed to increase their resources for conservation of biodiversity at the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) that ended last week.
At the conference, the developed countries agreed to increase funding support from US$ 6bn to US$ 12bn in developing states toward meeting the Biodiversity Targets.
The developed countries have agreed to double the biodiversity related international financial flows by 2015. And this will be carried out after using a baseline figure of the average national spending on biodiversity between 2006 and 2010.
The executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, said the results, coming in a period of economic crisis, demonstrate that the world is committed to implementing the CBD.
“We see that governments are moving forward in implementation and seeing biodiversity as an opportunity to be realized more than a problem to be solved,” he said.
The president of COP and the minister of environment and forest, India, Jayanthi Natarajan, said: “The present economic crisis should not deter us, but on the contrary encourage us to invest more towards amelioration of the natural capital for ensuring uninterrupted ecosystem services, on which all life on earth depends.”
The countries also agreed to substantially increase domestic expenditure for biodiversity protection over the same period. For the first time, developing countries at COP 11 including India and several African states pledged additional funds above and beyond their core funding towards the work of the CBD.
The COP also set targets to increase the number of countries that have included biodiversity in their national development plans, and prepared national financial plans for biodiversity, by 2015.
The conference also saw the launch of the Hyderabad Call for Biodiversity Champions.  The program will accept pledges from governments and organizations in support of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.  The government of India this week committed over US$ 50 million as part of the program.
The Global Environment Facility, the financial mechanism of the Convention, for the first time, was provided with an assessment of the financial resources required to meet the needs of developing countries for implementing the Convention.
Other key decisions taken at the COP11 include new measures to factor biodiversity into environmental impact assessments linked to infrastructure and other development projects in marine and coastal areas.
Much of the COP 11 negotiations revolved around practical and financial support for countries in implementing national biodiversity plans to meet the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
In reviewing global progress in implementing such measures, the COP reaffirmed the need for enhanced technical and scientific cooperation among countries, while underlining the potential for enhanced cooperation among developing countries.
To support such efforts, a new National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans Forum (NBSAP Forum) was launch at COP11 by UNEP, CBD, The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The online forum provides easy-to-access, targeted information such as best practices, guidelines and learning tools for countries.
Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation among countries.
“The UN biodiversity conference in Hyderabad has taken forward the renewed momentum, forged two years ago in Nagoya,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner.
“Countries have sent a clear signal and delivered additional commitments underlining the fact that biodiversity and ecosystems are a development priority and central to a transition to an inclusive Green Economy,” added Mr. Steiner.

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