Sunday, 21 October 2012

COP 11 on Biological Diversity: Hyderabad Declaration calls for conservation of biological diversity and implementation of biosafety measures

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 20: Hyderabad has carved out a permanent place in the
world history of biodiversity with representatives of about 200
nations launching the Hyderabad Call and later adopting the Hyderabad
Declaration.

Both the Hyderabad Call and the Hyderabad Declaration play a key role
in the next eight years in shaping the national and international
policies on conservation of biological diversity and implementation of
biosafety measures to protect man, animal and plants on one hand and
Nature on the other.

The 11th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD), which concluded here on Friday, brought
to the fore India ingenious capacity to lead the world. India will
lead the CBD for the next 24 months as the Chair of the COP 11.

The Hyderabad Call relates to Biodiversity Champions. The programme
will accept pledges from governments and organizations in support of
the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. India earlier this week committed
over US$ 50 million as part of the programme.

The Hyderabad Declaration was adopted during the parallel summit of
Cities and Local Authorities. It pertains to subnational governments,
cities and other local authorities for biodiversity and supports the
work of cities to achieve the Global Strategy for Biodiversity. It
also calls for greater coordination between levels of government.

Other key decisions include new measures to factor biodiversity into
environmental impact assessments linked to infrastructure and other
development projects in marine and coastal areas.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention
on Biological Diversity said: “I look forward to other pledges in
support of the Hyderabad call for Biodiversity Champions that will
allow us to realize our goals.”

Jayanthi Natarajan, Union Minister of Environment and Forests, 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 193 Parties to the CBD agreed to classify a diverse list of marine
areas, some renowned for containing ‘hidden treasures’ of the plant
and animal world, as ecologically or biologically significant.
According to an UNEP report, half of the world's richest biodiversity
zones remain entirely unprotected - despite a 60 per cent increase in
the number of protected areas since 1990.

The countries also called for more research into the potential adverse
effects of underwater noise from ships on marine and coastal
biodiversity. There was also a call to fisheries management bodies to
play a stronger role in addressing the impacts of fisheries on
biodiversity.

It adopted recommendations for improving the sustainable use and
management of species hunted for 'bushmeat' in tropical and
sub-tropical regions, where large-scale hunting and trade of animals
has led to 'empty forest syndrome’, and is increasingly threatens food
security, and the ecological stability of forests and other
ecosystems.

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