Conference on biological diversity opens in Nagoya

On Monday, 18 October 2010, the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was opened in Nagoya. The conference will continue until 29 October 2010. With Japan as chair, over these two weeks the global community will negotiate measures against the ongoing destruction of nature. The Conference of the Parties to the CBD is the Convention's governing body and meets every two years. The last meeting took place under German presidency from 19 to 30 May 2008 in the city of Bonn, which hosts a number of headquarters of UN agencies. 

Key topics of the meeting in Nagoya include the adoption of an ABS Protocol, a new Strategic Plan for the CBD and financial issues. ABS stands for access and benefit-sharing, which means that access to the genetic resources of a country is securely regulated and that the countries of origin can participate fairly in the benefits arising from the use of these resources. The development of drugs or breeds are examples of this.

The Strategic Plan of the CBD lays down specific medium- and long-term goals and priorities of international biodiversity conservation. The present Strategic Plan aims to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Although progress was made in individual areas at regional, national and local level, the global 2010-target was not achieved. For this reason, the international community will decide in Nagoya which targets of biodiversity policy are to be pursued from 2011 to 2020.

Lack of financing is one of the main reasons why the loss of biodiversity continues. This applies in particular to the developing countries of the south which are home to a large share of global biodiversity but which do not have adequate means to ensure biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. The great challenge for the meeting in Nagoya is for donor countries to make a credible effort during the negotiations to improve the funding for biodiversity conservation despite the tense financial situation of the parties. 

Germany has developed an innovative instrument by using revenues from the European emissions trading scheme for the conservation of biodiversity relevant for climate protection. The International Climate Initiative can be a model for generating additional funding for biodiversity conservation in other countries or regions.

In addition to these key topics, decisions will be made concerning protected areas, marine and coastal biodiversity, biodiversity and climate change, forest biodiversity, biofuels, invasive species and business and biodiversity.