Sunday, October 7, 2012

COP 11 biodiversity: Governments invest too slowly in planet’s natural wealth, WWF tells CBD delegates

Governments meeting in India to make key decisions on our planet’s future have to prove the deal they struck two years ago was not just a display of good will but a serious commitment.

Over 190 nations will meet in Hyderabad from 8th to 19th October to discuss implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, a legally binding treaty governing the sustainable use of our planet’s natural wealth.

Two years ago governments agreed to set the world on a course to help prevent further species extinctions and the decline of the world’s most valuable nature.
But since this historic achievement, many have failed to deliver on the promises and commitments made in Japan. WWF is calling on all nations who gather in Hyderabad to urgently start implementing the previously agreed targets.

What was agreed in Nagoya really has the power to halt the dramatic loss of biodiversity across the globe and address the main drivers of the destruction.”

“But now governments must prove that Nagoya was not just a platform for empty promises. They need to start taking real steps and implement the targets and commitments they agreed on,” said Lasse Gustavsson, WWF International’s Executive Director for Conservation.

The targets agreed at the CBD in 2010 show that countries have the will to come together to protect our planet. Now they must put money behind their promises and turn their words into action.”

Progress…but not enough

An overwhelming 91 percent of Parties to the CBD have developed strategies and plans for their approach to protect nature and biodiversity. But only 14 Parties have revised their plans taking into consideration the strategic plan agreed in Nagoya, and even fewer have taken measures to integrate the services that nature provides into their development plans.

Yet even amidst this dismal performnce, some nations have stepped up and are starting to make good on the commitments they voiced in Nagoya.

In Indonesia, the government has agreed a US$28.5 million debt-for-nature swap with the US for a forest-carbon-biodiversity conservation program.
In Guyana, a conservation trust fund was launched in July 2012 that paves the way for establishing a National Protected Areas Trust Fund.

And European countries have agreed a strategy to meet the CBD targets across the European Union which if implemented could help halt biodiversity loss by 2020.

“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,” said Rolf Hogan, Biodiversity Policy Coordinator at WWF International.

“Nature underpins our existence on earth and governments need to invest in nature if they are serious about our future. Protecting biodiversity and nature is an investment in the future.”

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