Global strategic plan to save biodiversity mulled in Nagoya summit
BY: ERROL A. GATUMBATO
The 10th meeting of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Nagoya, Japan last October 18 to 29, 2010 was hardly noticed here in the Philippines. The media coverage of the supposedly important global event was quite limited here in the country. The meeting was the main highlight for the commemoration of the International Year of Biodiversity this year, as declared by the United Nations. About 18,000 participants representing the 193 Parties to the CBD gathered in Nagoya to assess the 2010 targets in saving biodiversity across the different regions of the world. The CBD was opened for signature during the historic Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992, and became into force in December 1993. It is an international treaty, which promotes biodiversity conservation, including the sustainable use of biodiversity components and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.
The Philippines is already a Party to the Convention, and in fact an important Party because it is considered as one
of the mega biodiversity countries, owing to its numerous and diverse endemic species of flora and fauna. Unfortunately, the Philippines is also known as a biodiversity hotspot of the world due to the high level of threats to its endemic species and habitats. Numerous endemic species of the Philippines are now listed in the IUCN-World Conservation Union Red List of Threatened Species. However, biodiversity loss is not only isolated in the Philippines because global assessment showed that the 2010 targets of the CBD have not been fully achieved. Threats to global biodiversity are still prevalent and efforts to curtail biodiversity loss are still insufficient.
The 10th meeting of CBD Parties has reportedly achieved three inter-linked goals. One is the adoption of a new 10-year strategic plan to guide international and national efforts in saving biodiversity through enhanced action to meet the CBD objectives. The meeting also adopted a resource mobilization strategy that provides the way forward for a substantial increase in current levels of official development assistance in support of biodiversity, and lastly it invoked a new international protocol on access to and sharing of the benefits from the use of the genetic resources of the planet. During the meeting, Parties to the Convention further agreed to at least halve and where feasible bring close to zero the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests, and established protection measures over 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of marine and coastal areas. Parties to the CBD further affirmed that governments will restore 15% of degraded areas and will make special efforts to reduce the pressures faced by coral reefs.
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