The world’s governments
have agreed to increase funding in support of actions to halt the rate
of loss of biodiversity at the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the
Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which
Developed countries agreed to double funding to support efforts in
developing states towards meeting the internationally-agreed
Biodiversity Targets, and the main goals of the Strategic Plan for
The Saragasso Sea, the Tonga archipelago and key corals sites off the
coast of Brazil are among a range of marine areas to receive special
attention by governments as part of renewed efforts to sustainably
manage the world`s oceans agreed in Hyderabad. Many of the areas are
beyond national jurisdictions and, as such, receive little or no
protection at present.
Other key decisions taken at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 11) include new measures to
factor biodiversity into environmental impact assessments linked to
infrastructure and other development projects in marine and coastal
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on
Biological Diversity said: “These results, coming in a period of
economic crisis, demonstrate that the world is committed to implementing
the CBD. We see that governments are moving forward in implementation
and seeing biodiversity as an opportunity to be realized more than a
problem to be solved.”
“We now need to move forward in the next two years, under the able
leadership of India, the COP 11 president, to consolidate this work and
to advance further. I look forward to other pledges in support of the
Hyderabad call for Biodiversity Champions that will allow us to realize
our goals” he said.
Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister for Environment and Forests for India,
and President of the COP said: “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."
"The UN biodiversity conference in Hyderabad has taken forward the
renewed momentum, forged two years ago in Nagoya," said United Nations
Under-Secretary-General and UN Environment Programme Executive Director
"Countries have sent a clear signal and delivered additional commitments
underlining the fact that biodiversity and ecosystems are a development
priority and central to a transition to an inclusive Green Economy,"
added Mr. Steiner.
"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 signalled their determination and sense of urgency to
seize the opportunities by providing much needed additional support,”
said Mr. Steiner.
Agreements on Funding
Developed countries agreed at the conference to increase funding to
support efforts in developing states towards meeting the Aichi
Using a baseline figure of the average annual national spending on
biodiversity between 2006 and 2010, developed countries said they would
double biodiversity-related international financial flows by 2015. The
COP also set targets to increase the number of countries that have
included biodiversity in their national development plans, and prepared
national financial plans for biodiversity, by 2015.
All Parties agreed to substantially increase domestic expenditures for
biodiversity protection over the same period. These targets, and
progress towards them, will be reviewed in 2014.
For the first time, developing countries at COP 11, including India and
several African states, pledged additional funds above and beyond their
core funding towards the work of the CBD.
The conference also saw the launch of the Hyderabad Call for
Biodiversity Champions. The programme will accept pledges from
governments and organizations in support of the Strategic Plan for
Biodiversity. The government of India this week committed over US$ 50
million as part of the programme.
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 193 Parties to the CBD agreed to classify a diverse list of marine
areas, some renowned for containing ‘hidden treasures’ of the plant and
animal world, as ecologically or biologically significant.
Earlier this week, UNEP launched its Protected Planet 2012 report which
found that half of the world`s richest biodiversity zones remain
entirely unprotected - despite a 60 per cent increase in the number of
protected areas since 1990.
To meet the Aichi Biodiversity Target of ensuring that 10 per cent of
marine areas are protected by 2020, says the UNEP report, an additional
8 million square kilometres of marine and coastal areas would need to be
recognized as protected - an area just over the size of Australia.
COP agreed to transmit the results of this classification work to the
United Nations General Assembly so that they can be considered by
relevant UN processes linked to the United Nations Convention on Law of
the Sea, in particular the United Nations General Assembly Working Group
which is considering the development of an international agreement for
biodiversity conservation in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Parties to the Convention also called for more research into the
potential adverse effects of underwater noise from ships on marine and
coastal biodiversity, and highlighted the growing concern on the adverse
effects of marine litter. It also recognized the growing challenge of
climate change impacts on coral reefs, which, Parties agreed, will
require significant investment to overcome.
There was also a call to fisheries management bodies to play a stronger
role in addressing the impacts of fisheries on biodiversity.
The series of agreements at COP 11 on oceans and coasts builds on the
commitment of countries made at the United Nations Rio+20 summit in June
to protect and restore marine ecosystems and to maintain their
National Biodiversity Plans
Much of the COP 11 negotiations revolved around practical and financial
support for countries in implementing national biodiversity plans to
meet the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity
In reviewing global progress in implementing such measures, the COP
reaffirmed the need for enhanced technical and scientific cooperation
among countries, while underlining the potential for enhanced
cooperation among developing countries. To support such efforts, a new
National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans Forum (NBSAP Forum)
was launch at COP11 by UNEP, CBD, The Global Environment Facility (GEF)
and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The online forum provides
easy-to-access, targeted information such as best practices, guidelines
and learning tools for countries.
UNEP’s Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Initiative also
presented a series of practical guides for governments at COP 11 for
integrating the economic, social and cultural value of ecosystems into
national biodiversity plans.
COP 11 also agreed to a number of measures to engage the main economic
sectors, such as business and development organizations, to integrate
biodiversity objectives in their plans and programmes.
COP 11 developed new work in support of achieving Aichi Target 15 which
calls for the restoration of 15% of degraded lands. This work was
supported by a call, in the margins of the meeting, by the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention to Combat
Desertification (UNCCD) and other bodies for concerted action in support
of the decision.
A decision on climate change and biodiversity called for enhanced
collaboration between the CBD and UN climate change initiatives
including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).
Given that forests are home to more than half of all terrestrial
species, initiatives such as REDD+, where developing countries can
receive payments for carbon offsets for their standing forests, can
potentially help achieve international biodiversity targets, as well as
those concerned with cutting carbon emissions.
The decision covers technical advice on the conservation of forests,
sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon
However the COP also noted discussions around the need for biodiversity
safeguards relating to REDD+ and similar incentives. Actions such as
afforestation in areas of high biodiversity value, or the conversion of
natural forests to plantations, for example, may have adverse impacts on
The COP adopted recommendations for improving the sustainable use and
management of species hunted for `bushmeat` in tropical and sub-tropical
regions, where large-scale hunting and trade of animals has led to
`empty forest syndrome`, and is increasingly threatens food security,
and the ecological stability of forests and other ecosystems. Together
with FAO and other organizations, the CBD Secretariat will establish a
global `Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management` to
support developing countries in the implementation of relevant CBD
COP 11 adopted a decision on protected areas that provides a framework
for achieving Aichi target 11. It calls for integration of national
action plans for Protected Areas into revised National Biodiversity
Strategies and action Plans.
A parallel summit of Cities and Local Authorities was convened with the
support of ICLEI. Participants adopted the Hyderabad Declaration on
Subnational Governments, Cities and other Local Authorities for
Biodiversity, which supports the work of cities to achieve the Global
Strategy for Biodiversity and calls for greater coordination between
levels of government.