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Friday, January 13, 2017

UN Biodiversity Conference results in significant commitments for action on biodiversity

Great follow up to an interview we did yesterday with Professor Rebecca Tyson, University of British Columbia, talking about how climate change can lead to extinction of species that lead directly to cuts in our bio-diversity and disrupt the food chain.  Are we just starting to recognize the massive losses we've suffered and the shock at the amount of eco-capital we have put at grave risk?

Global cooperation around energy, carbon reduction, a restoration of our environmental conditions is just the beginning of what is needed to safeguard our eco system.  Bio diversity, preservation of habitat, soil restoration and protecting our water resources are paramount in our fight to build a sustainable home to multi-billions of people that aspire to a great quality of life.

We will do this in two parts.

Agreements reached on actions to integrate biodiversity in forestry, fisheries, agriculture, and tourism sectors and to achieve the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development - Pledges and commitments in support of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity made by Business; Cities and Subnational Authorities, IPLCs and Youth; 

- Capacity-building strategy agreed for the Convention and its Protocols;
- Protected areas on the land and in the oceans and seas, expanding considerably, with Mexico increasing marine protection to 23 per cent; 

- Marine agenda advances with work on marine debris, underwater noise and spatial planning;
- Decisions made on Climate-related Geoengineering, synthetic biology and others.

18 December 2016 - Governments agreed on actions that will accelerate implementation of global biodiversity targets, and enhance the linkage of the biodiversity agenda with other global agendas including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and others.

Governments from 167 countries agreed on a variety of measures that will intensify the implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, including mainstreaming, capacity-development and mobilization of financial resources as well as actions on specific themes including protected areas, ecosystem restoration, sustainable wildlife management and others.

Governments followed through on the commitments in the Cancun Declaration made by ministers at the high-level segment of the meeting that took place on 2 and 3 December 2016. Parties agreed to advance mainstreaming biodiversity, the main theme of the meeting proposed by the Government of Mexico, and use an integrated approach that would promote not only cross-sectoral linkages, but also linkages between efforts to implement national biodiversity strategies and action plans and Sustainable Development Goal strategies and plans.

"Governments demonstrated their commitment to achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and showed that the biodiversity agenda is central and essential to the global sustainable development and climate change agendas," said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity. He also said: "With the integration of three meetings addressing the Convention and its two Protocols, the world community also realized the importance of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing in effectively contributing to the Targets and sustainable development".

"We received impressive commitments from governments, including excellent ones from the government of Mexico, in support of many of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets which gives us the momentum we need to achieve our goals by 2020."
"The agenda of mainstreaming biodiversity provided Mexi
co with the momentum to conclude agreements which had eluded us for decades, such as the alignment of agricultural subsidies to preserve forests, or the protection of a vast proportion of our seas," said Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico.

"For the next two years, Mexico will work with countries to translate the principles of the Cancun Declaration into legislation, policies and actions to meet the commitments we made."

"We applaud and support the global community's commitment made during this COP to integrate biodiversity considerations into the activities of other critical sectors of our economies: agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and tourism; and value its natural capital for sustainable development, as expressed in the Cancun Declaration", said Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Facility.

"The GEF, as the financial mechanism of the convention, is proud to have been confirmed in its critical role to support countries to meet their commitments under the Convention and its Protocols. We also feel encouraged by the strong support of many donor and recipient countries to maintain consistency with our current biodiversity programming strategy with integrated approaches in response to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, while seeking out new innovative and creating financing opportunities", she said."

The Parties agreed on an action plan (2017-2020) that will enhance and support capacity-building for the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols based on the needs of Parties with a focus on strengthening the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. For the Protocols, emphasis will be on supporting the implementation of the Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and promoting the universal ratification of the Nagoya Protocol and the development of measures to ensure that it is fully operational, consistent with national legislation (Aichi Target 16).
The Parties also welcomed the Biobridge Initiative established at COP 12 by the Government of the Republic of Korea to contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets...

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