Sunday, 21 October 2012

COP 11 biological diversity: UN Biodiversity talks move forward but nature needs more - nternational Union for Conservation of Nature

By Syed Akbar
 Hyderabad:  Despite good progress towards achieving the 2020 targets to halt the loss of biodiversity, efforts to conserve nature must be urgently scaled up if we want to meet the 2020 deadline to save all life on earth - says IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

The UN Biodiversity talks closing today in Hyderabad, India, saw an overall consensus on the urgent need for more and better managed funds to reach the targets but countries have failed to agree on the exact amount needed to ensure their successful implementation.

The lack of clear agreement on public funds required to conserve biodiversity and save the natural world highlights the need for innovative ways to seek support from other sources,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We’ve seen good progress towards achieving the targets we set two years ago. These efforts now need to be urgently scaled up with adequate funding from all sources if we want to avoid failure.

Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity met in Hyderabad to evaluate progress towards the implementation of decisions taken at the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit in 2010, including the 2020 Aichi Targets to save and restore nature. The meeting saw examples of concrete conservation action and a strong focus on turning the decisions taken in Nagoya into action on the ground.

Some key issues have been agreed in Hyderabad, such as the recognition of marine ecologically and biologically significant areas, including those in the international waters, which should largely increase their chances to be protected under international law.  

“This is good but it’s not enough,” says Jane Smart, Global Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group. “If we want to respond to the growing biodiversity crisis, we need more concrete action. We must engage with all levels of society, including the private sector, and look into conserving all levels of biological diversity: the diversity of genes, species and ecosystems. Two years into the International Decade of Biodiversity, this is now more urgent than ever.”

According to the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ released during the meeting, 20,219 of the 65,518 species listed are threatened with extinction, including 83% of Madagascar’s palms, putting the livelihoods of many people at risk.

Addressing the ministers gathered in Hyderabad, IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng highlighted the need for new sources of funds to conserve nature, such as the private sector, and stressed the importance of including the protection of the natural environment in national development policies.

The government of India has done a fantastic job in organizing this meeting,” said President Zhang Xinsheng. “In two year’s time we’ll be looking at a mid-point towards the 2020 deadline to save the natural environment. We look forward to working with the government of South Korea to make sure that at the next meeting of the Convention, we see more positive progress. We’re up against a crisis that’s threatening all life on earth - we cannot afford to lose this race.

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