Hyderabad, India 8 October 2012 - Representatives from over 170 countries today began deliberations in Hyderabad, India, on the way forward to protect the planet’s biodiversity.
The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known as COP 11 for short, follows on the historic outcomes of the 2010 Nagoya biodiversity summit. In Nagoya, governments adopted a new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, and two new supplementary protocols to the CBD, setting the course for halting biodiversity loss by the end of the current decade.
Mr. Ryu Matsumoto, the former Minister of the Environment of Japan, who served as COP 10 President in Nagoya, said at the opening: "While the COP10 outcomes are remarkable achievements, there will be no change unless they are implemented. At COP11, I trust that we can agree on further measures to overcome challenges that require additional efforts."
At the meeting, the Government of India assumed the Presidency of COP 11. During their term, which runs from 2012 until 2014, the government of India will preside over the implementation of the work of the Convention, including the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Ms Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment and Forests, Government of India and COP 11 President, said that: “The present global 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. Let us all be inspired by what Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems’. So let us commit ourselves to what we are capable of doing.”
In his opening remarks, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, the Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity said: “I urge you, in Hyderabad, to mobilize the financial resources needed to enable developing countries to achieve the Aichi Targets at national level. In so doing, we will need to be creative and involve all partners.”
“We need to … adopt new approaches and mechanisms, emphasizing the leveraging of resources from existing sources through mainstreaming, incorporating sustainability criteria in government procurement, reviewing and adjusting of economic instruments, and further engaging the business sector,” adding, “We will be judged by our acts, not our words.”
The meeting is mandated to consider, among others, the mobilization of resources in support of the Global Strategy for Biodiversity and its Aichi Targets, a report on the identification of ecologically and biologically significant areas in marine ecosystems as well as a number of other items related to the protection of biodiversity in marine ecosystems; ecosystem restoration and the relationship between biodiversity and climate change.
The meeting continues until 19 October 2012, with a high-level segment featuring the participation of ministers and heads of State that runs from 16 to 19 October 2012.