Financing in Spotlight as Biodiversity Talks Open in Nagoya

Biodiversity Oct 18, 2010
Steve Zwick

The last time the planet lost species at today’s rate, the dinosaurs disappeared.   The UN vows to halt species loss by 2020, but a decade ago it vowed to halt that loss by 2010.   This time around, the results could be better – if negotiators meeting in Nagoya manage to attack the financial drivers of species loss.   We’ll be focusing on this critical aspect of ongoing talks between now and the end of next week.

18 October 2010 |
The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) opened today with CBD boss Ahmed Djoghlaf imploring delegates to finalize and adopt the Aichi-Nagoya Strategic Plan, which aims to halt species loss by 2020, among other things.  

“This is not just another plan,” said Djoghlaf.   “It will be, as recommended by last month’s historic New York summit on biodiversity, the overarching coordinated global biodiversity framework of the whole biodiversity family, including the United Nations system.”

Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes will form a key component in that new framework, as Djoghlaf has repeatedly made clear.

“Loss of biological diversity impoverishes the productivity of ecosystems, shrinking nature’s basket of goods and services,” he said at the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Business and Consumption in June.   “The CBD supports mechanisms that allow companies to reduce the footprint of their activities on biodiversity through biodiversity offsets, payment for ecosystem services and use of certification and standards.”

But he also recognizes the challenge of bringing countries on board.

“Biodiversity is development, and this is not recognized by the governments,” he said during an exclusive interview with Ecosystem Marketplace back in May. “They see it as an aesthetic issue: as parks and greenness … and we hope that involving the market mechanism as has been done in climate change will also assist us to meet the challenge.”

The first side event to deal with the issue took place on Monday.   Entitled “Linkage Between REDD Mechanism and Biodiversity Conservation”, it was co-sponsored by Hiroshima University and Japan’s Ministry of the Environment.

It was designed to “discuss how we can incorporate the concept of biodiversity conservation (in)to … REDD+,” but that’s all it did – and without delivering any new information or insight.

Indeed we could easily have republished our coverage of CBD talks from May and simply changed the names.   No one would have noticed the difference.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is sponsoring a more promising event on Tuesday to examine ways of getting the CBD, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Lifeweb, and the UNFCCC to work together.   We should have a summary available some time Tuesday afternoon GMT.

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