UN Convention on Biological Diversity
Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Established in 1972, UNEP is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.
COP 11(October 8-19) addressed issues such as capacity building, technology development and transfer, the adverse effects of climate change on developing and least developed countries, and several financial and budget-related issues, including guidelines to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which serves as the Convention’s financial mechanism. After lengthy negotiations, the COP also agreed on a process for considering future action beyond 2012 under the UNFCCC.
Some Important Decisions
- 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 Biodiversity 2011-2020. 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.
- (CBD COP 11) include new measures to factor biodiversity into environmental impact assessments linked to infrastructure and other development projects in marine and coastal areas.
- Funding is decided 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. These targets, and progress towards them, will be reviewed in 2014.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Conference welcomed the establishment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) earlier this year and recognized the potential contribution it could make to enhance the effectiveness of the Convention.
(Courtesy: CBD website and Press release)