Plan agreed by world leaders in Japan foresees increase in protected areas on land and sea and reaches a landmark agreement on Access and Benefit Sharing
– The new global deal to protect
nature agreed at the Conference of the Parties (COP10) of the UN Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD) in Japan today represents a critical step in slowing
the current extinction crisis and ensuring that developing countries and their
indigenous traditional peoples benefit from the natural wealth harbored in their
forests and oceans, said Conservation International today.
Representatives from 193 governments participating in the CBD in Nagoya for
the past two weeks agreed on a global action plan to prevent the extinction of
threatened animals and plants and conserve intact habitats over the next decade.
The targets established eight years ago to "significantly reduce the rate of
biodiversity loss" by 2010 were not met at a global level, despite individual
progress by some nations, but this new agreement offers more hope and a much
more comprehensive plan.
"This conference must be viewed as a success and a major global achievement.
We were able to solve the key issues that were blocking the negotiations and
ended up with a strategic plan with 20 targets to protect biodiversity over the
next decade. Countries were able to come together as a global community and look
beyond their national agendas to focus on the future of life on Earth and its
essential role in human development and poverty alleviation. We were optimistic
from the beginning and are happy with the end result," said Russ Mittermeier,
President of Conservation International, who followed the negotiations from the
beginning of the conference.
He added: "This agreement comes at a critical time as the pressures on the
environment are growing fast and the responses have been too weak. It is
especially timely in light of the UN climate talks in Cancun coming up in a
month, and many of the countries at the CBD highlighted the needed for greater
collaboration between these two conventions."
In particular, Conservation International is pleased with the target to
increase protected areas coverage by 2020 – 17 percent of the land surface of
the planet and 10 percent of the marine realm. "Protected areas are the most
effective tool available to us to protect biodiversity. Our goal in Nagoya was
to get 25 percent on land and 15 percent in marine, and we still believe that
much higher targets are necessary to maintain the full range of critical
ecosystem services essential for human well-being. We are currently at 13
percent. The 17 percent target calls for special emphasis on areas of greatest
importance biodiversity, and it is now essential that we focus this additional 4
percent of land on filling the gaps in the highest priority areas for
biodiversity to ensure that this increase is strategic and that it have maximum
impact. As for the oceans, the agreed percentage represents a ten-fold increase
over the roughly 1 percent currently protected and is an ambitious goal.
The agreement on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), which was one of the most
contentious points of this summit, was also a remarkable achievement for
developing countries and have been a contentious issue since the earliest days
of the Convention in 1993. "I won't say it's a miracle that we achieved this
agreement, but it is surely historic", said Mittermeier.
With the slow progress of talks in the first week, there was fear that Nagoya
would wind up like Copenhagen, but the success of this final day helped to
validate the importance of global conventions like these in creating
conservation policies and promoting actions on the ground. What is more, we
applaud the $2 billion commitment by Japan three days ago, which really
demonstrated to the delegates that the financial aspect of the convention was
being taken seriously.
Notes for editors:
DOWNLOAD: Photos of biodiversity
B-roll of biodiversity available for download:
visually courtesy credit Conservation International)
Conservation International (CI): Building upon a strong foundation of
science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to
responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the
well-being of humanity. With headquarters in Washington, DC, CI works in more
than 40 countries on four continents. To find out more about CI's policy
positions and activities at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in
Nagoya, please visit www.conservation.org/cbd