Sunday, October 31, 2010

Convention on Biological Diversity

Joseph Ingoldsby

Nagoya, Japan 29 October 2010

The nations of the world united and came to a common accord to exercise their collective rights of responsibility, to protect and restore Earth’s biodiversity from potential extinctions and the effects of climate change. A welcome had been extended to all governments to join the UN Family of Nations in this Year of Biodiversity. The new strategy links climate change, biodiversity and the Millennium Development Goals with concrete targets and implementation, in cooperation with the developed and developing countries.

The Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity

According to statements issued by the UN Convention on Biodiversity, The Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity or the “Aichi Target”, adopted by the meeting includes 20 headline targets, organized under five strategic goals that address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, reduce the pressures on biodiversity, safeguard biodiversity at all levels, enhance the benefits provided by biodiversity, and provide for capacity-building.

Convention and the Strategic Plan

The 2010 UN Biodiversity Aichi Target was based upon the UN Convention of Biological Diversity strategic planning document Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 prepared for the 2010 Nagoya, Japan CBD Conference and included the following focal areas:

Focal Area: Reducing the rate of loss of the components of biodiversity, including: (i) biomes, habitats and ecosystems; (ii) species and populations; and (iii) genetic diversity.

Focal Area: Maintaining ecosystem integrity, and the provision of goods and services provided by biodiversity in ecosystems, in support of human well-being

Focal Area: Addressing the major threats to biodiversity, including those arising from invasive alien species, climate change, pollution, and habitat change

Focal Area: Promoting sustainable use of biodiversity

Focal Area: Protecting traditional knowledge, innovations and practices

Focal Area: Ensuring the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources

Focal Area: Mobilizing financial and technical resources, especially for developing countries, in particular, least developed countries and small island developing states among them, and countries with economies in transition, for implementing the Convention and Strategic Plan.

Aichi Target Strategic Goals:

The Aichi Target strategic goals agreed to by the global signatories to the UN Convention on BIodiversity seek to:

  • address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss;
  • reduce the pressures on biodiversity;
  • safeguard biodiversity at all levels;
  • enhance the benefits provided by biodiversity;
  • provide for capacity building.
Aichi Target Strategic Goal Implementation:
Signatories agreed to:
  • halve and where feasible bring close to zero the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests;
  • establish a target of 17 % of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 % of marine and coastal areas;
  • through conservation and restoration, Governments will restore at least 15 % of degraded areas;
  • and will make special efforts to reduce the pressures faced by coral reefs.

Financing: Countries have pledged their financial support. The Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Naoto Kan, announced 2 billion United States dollars in financing, the Minister of Environment of Japan announced the establishment of a Japan Biodiversity Fund. Additional financial resources were announced by France, the European Union and Norway. Some 110 million United States dollars were mobilized in support of projects under the CBD LifeWeb Initiative aimed at enhancing the protected-area agenda. Financial support for the Strategic Plan will be provided under the framework of the resource mobilization strategy. Parties will work to define in time for the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2012, the targets and mechanisms through which financial resources can be identified, unleashed and channeled.

Protocol: Parties adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. The historic agreement creates a framework that balances access to genetic resources on the basis of prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms with the fair and equitable sharing of benefits while taking into account the important role of traditional knowledge. The Protocol also proposes the creation of a global multilateral mechanism that will operate in transboundary areas or situations where prior informed consent cannot be obtained.

Enactment: The Nagoya Protocol is expected to enter into force by 2012, with support from the Global Environment Facility of one million United States dollars to support early entry into force.

Education: The importance of better integrating the biodiversity agenda with that of climate change and land degradation was covered in the dynamic programme of events and activities at the Ecosystems Pavilion (, where heads of agencies and international organizations discussed the ways that all three agendas could be implemented in support of sustainable development."

Report issued by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, 29/10/2010

Joseph Ingoldsby writes and advocates for biodiversity. Recent works include Vanishing Landscapes and Endangered Species, The Science Exhibition: Curation & Design, Museums etc Press, UK, 2010; Green Sanctuaries at Mass Audubon, Sustainable Museums: Strategies for the 21st Century, Museums etc Press, UK, 2010.