Part 2 of 2 from Amy Anaruk on the U.N. Biodiversity Conference. Read Part 1 here.
As the biodiversity conference in Germany drew to a close, delegates had agreed on substantial measures to further the creation of land reserves and help developing countries protect their biodiversity. On the thorny issue of sharing genetic resources, countries outlined a "roadmap" of talking points for the next conference. Finally, two countries have earmarked substantial funds to help protect the valuable forests in their areas.
Here's a rundown of the major results for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD):
Participating countries mapped out plans that will pave the way for an agreement on genetic resources, a plan called access and benefit sharing (ABS). Currently, when companies that manufacture products like medicines that rely on the developing world's genetic resources, the companies-not the countries themselves-keep the profits. ABS involves equitable sharing between both the companies and the countries of resources and profits from the products based on these materials. While delegates didn't come to any agreements at this conference, they created the Bonn Roadmap for the next one in 2010. The plan is not without its controversy, though:
"Xue Dayuan, director of the China Institute of Environment and Resources Protection for Minority Areas and a member of China's delegation to the conference, says the roadmap anchors the diverse debates over the issues and narrows down action to a set of suitable options that could be further explored.
Xue says previous efforts for biodiversity protection focused too much on funding from the developed world, and that countries should develop their economy first in order to fund their own, more sustainable, protection measures. " - Environmental News Network
The conference participants did make major headway to increase protected areas around the world, voting to both expand them and create a network of support. The Life Web Initiative network will give poorer countries with land available for protection a way to connect with other countries that have the financial resources to help. For example, Indonesia is already taking advantage of the network and promoting marine preservation by declaring 20 million hectares as marine protected territory.
In addition, Germany and Norway made impressive financial pledges to protect forests in their countries:
"In her opening statement, Chancellor Merkel promised that Germany would provide 500 million euros through 2013 to protect forests, and 500 million euros a year after that. Given that deforestation contributes 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than transport and travel combined, Merkel said, "We are convinced that this is a very good investment."
This initiative complements a decision by Norway to provide 600 million euros a year for the following three years for forest conservation." - Environment News Service
On the heels of these conference developments comes an enormous, groundbreaking new deal between Madagascar, a poor country with incredibly rich biodiversity, and France, which will provide 13 million euros ($20 million USD) to protect it. The so-called "debt-for-nature swap" is a model for the rest of the world when you consider its impact:
"Nearly 98 percent of Madagascar's land mammals, 92 percent of its reptiles, and 80 percent of its plants are found nowhere else on earth. WWF has been active in Madagascar for more than three decades, providing local communities with the support necessary to manage natural resources effectively. Madagascar's ecosystems provide essential services that support local communities and an array of economic activities. WWF's vision is to protect, restore and maintain Madagascar's unique biodiversity in harmony with the culture and livelihoods of the people who live there." - WWF
With two years before the next conference, a goal to stem wildlife losses by that time, and help from the Life Web Initiative, hopefully more biodiversity swaps between countries will follow.
- UN Biodiversity Conference Part I: Highlighting Wildlife Loss Around the World
- Madagascar's $20 Million Debt-for-Nature Deal
- Brazilian Government Places Some of the Rainforest Under Protection - But is it Enough?
- Caribbean Monk Seal, We Hardly Knew Ye
- Plants, a Good Way to Clean Up Soil Toxins
- Not the Koala Bears, Too!
- Ecuador: Establishing the Rights of Nature
- Golden Frog Waves Goodbye, Then Goes Extinct in the Wild
- 75 per cent of Food Diversity Lost in Last Century