Wednesday, October 10, 2012

International Conference on Biodiversity

The 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro created the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This is one of three historic international agreements created at the Earth Summit. On October 8th more than 2,000 delegates from 150 countries met in Hyderabad, India for the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

All 193 UN member governments have signed and ratified the CBD and are a party to it. The objectives of the CBD "are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding."

The Conference in India is set to discuss progress in the achievement of biodiversity goals as well as problems and challenges faced in the implementation of the CBD. The last conference was held in Nagoya, Japan, two years ago. The main focus rested on reducing the rate of loss of the planet's natural habitats.

The World Wildlife Fund reported that countries have failed to deliver on commitments made in Japan. "Governments can only be serious about these targets if they are prepared to invest in achieving them. We need to see richer countries helping poorer countries and all countries increasing their domestic budgets," Rolf Hogan, biodiversity policy coordinator at the WWF said.

Julia Marton-Lefevre, director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature stated, "We need to keep the momentum going, Biodiversity loss continues and has breached safe planetary boundaries. It's time for a serious check-up on progress we've made to turn the big plan into big action."
Angelica Oman
Graduate Program Assistant

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