The recent Convention on Biological Diversity closed in Nagoya on Friday with the delegates agreeing to three targets: adoption of a new 10 year strategic plan for biodiversity conservation, a resource mobilization strategy, and a new international protocol on access to and sharing of the benefits of using our planet’s genetic resources.
The convention’s strategic plan is suitably ambitious, given our world’s current extinction crisis. It includes 5 strategic goals and 20 headline targets focused on tackling the causes of biodiversity loss and biodiversity conservation. The targets include reducing deforestation by half or more, saving 17% of land-based water areas and 10% of marine and coastal areas, restoring at least 15% of degraded areas, and making special efforts to save coral reefs. As well, the plan includes an increase in funding. These would form the world’s biodiversity conservation priorities for the next 10 years.
While this sounds like exactly what the world needs, the implementation has to be careful. For example, the reduced deforestation target involves a desire to reduce climate change. But if the focus is on CO2 absorption, it’s possible that some countries might replace their natural forest with faster-growing planted trees which would threaten forest biodiversity and the livelihoods of indigenous peoples, Japan Today points out.
Delegates agreed that their country would transform this agreement into national biodiversity strategy and action plans within two years.
The environment ministers from over 100 countries, as well as a few heads of state, who were involved in the conference now return to their home countries to get the agreement approved by their government. We wish them much luck in ratifying the agreement before the next meeting of the Conference, in 2012 in India. And then, of course, once ratification is achieved we wish everyone the best of luck in actually achieving the goals.