Developed countries to double funding on biodiversity conservation
RAMESH PRASAD BHUSHAL
HYDERABAD (India), Oct 21: The developed countries of the world have agreed to double the funding to reduce biodiversity loss in the developing countries by 50 percent.
At the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) held in Hyderabad, the developing countries had stressed the need for adequate funding to take urgent actions to reduce the rapid loss of biodiversity. Around 150 countries participated in the two-week long convention that concluded Saturday.
The developed countries agreed to double the funding to support efforts in developing countries toward meeting the internationally agreed biodiversity targets and the main goals of the strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020 was agreed two years ago during the meeting Japan.
According to the secretariat of the convention, the developed countries using a baseline figure of the average annual national spending on biodiversity between 2006 and 2010, would double biodiversity- related international financial flows by 2015.
The developing and least developed countries have long been demanding more investments from developed countries on saving the planet´s biodiversity as the rapid and rampant developmental works and population growth has threatened life of many flora and fauna in terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic lives in marine ecosystem.
"These results, coming in a period of economic crisis, demonstrate that the world is committed to implementing the convention on biodiversity. We see that governments are moving forward in the implementation and seeing biodiversity as an opportunity to be realized more than a problem to be solved," said Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias.
The Hyderabad meeting which is the eleventh meeting of the countries has also set targets to increase the number of countries that have included biodiversity in their development plans.
For the first time, developing countries including India and several African states pledged additional funds above and beyond their core funding for conservation of bio-diversity.
The Global Environment Facility, the financial mechanism of the convention, for the first time, was provided with an assessment of the financial resources required to meet the needs of developing countries for implementing the convention.
"The present economic crisis should not deter us, but on the contrary encourage us to invest more towards amelioration of the natural capital for ensuring uninterrupted ecosystem services, on which all life on earth depends," said Jayanthi Natarajan, minister for Environment and Forests, India.
The meeting adopted recommendations for improving the sustainable use and management of species hunted for ´bushmeat´ in the tropical and sub -tropical regions, where large-scale hunting and trade of animals has led to empty forest syndrome.
"Mobilizing the necessary financial resources from the public and private sector needed to ensure achievement of the 2020 targets remains a challenge -- but here in India, many nations including developing economies have signaled their determination and sense of urgency to seize the opportunities by providing much needed additional support," said Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme.
Two years ago the tenth meeting of the countries in Japan had agreed to implement strategic plan(2011-2020) which among many other points said that the rate of loss of all natural habitats including forests, would at least be halved and where feasible brought close to zero and as well as significantly reduce degradation and fragmentation by 2020.
Likewise, the strategic plan had also agreed to establish a conservation target of 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water resources and 10 per cent of marine and coastal areas whereas restore at least 15 per cent of degraded areas through conservation and restoration activities globally.