BirdLife International Key Messages for COP-10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya
Summary – Five Messages for Nagoya
1. In Nagoya the governments of the world must adopt a comprehensive and ambitious new strategy for saving the world’s biodiversity and ecosystems. By 2020 biodiversity loss must be stopped and most of the species and habitats must be on the road to recovery.
2. At the conference governments, especially those of the rich, industrialised countries must make significant additional commitments for financing the protection of biodiversity.
3. The Parties of the CBD should adopt binding targets for the establishment of a global network of protected areas, especially at sea. By 2020 20% of the globe should be effectively protected. This protection must target the world’s key biodiversity areas and not just be a percentage exercise
4. At COP-10 governments must conclude and adopt a legally binding Protocol on international Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) – to ensure that profits made from genetic resources are shared in a fair way with the countries and communities owning those resources, and thus giving incentives for their conservation.
5. In Nagoya, biodiversity and climate policy must move closer together: COP-10 should adopt initiate a Joint Work Programme of the three Rio-Conventions on biodiversity (CBD), climate (UNFCCC) and desertification (UNCCD) and send strong messages on biodiversity safeguards
in REDD+ (the mechanism to avoid emissions from deforestation and forest degradation being proposed under the climate negotiations) and bioenergy production.
1. Strategic Plan of the CBD and 2020 Targets
1.1 COP10 must adopt a comprehensive, ambitious, result-oriented and realistic Strategic Plan for the CBD, including an ambitious 2020 mission, underpinned by measurable targets, milestones and indicators.
1.2 The 2020 mission of the CBD must include the halting of global biodiversity decline, and the recovery of most of the already damaged ecosystems with their species and habitats.
1.3 The new Strategic Plan of the CBD should focus on the drivers of biodiversity loss, as well as on the necessity to integrate biodiversity into all relevant political and economic sectors (with measurable sub-targets for each sector). Further priorities must be the mobilisation of sufficient
funding for the implementation of the Convention, as well as the fair sharing of access and benefits from the use of genetic resources.
1.4 In addition, the Strategic Plan has to ensure that indigenous and local communities, as well as the whole of civil society will be integrated in CBD implementation and can actively contribute to it. It must be recognised much more clearly that the fight against poverty and biodiversity loss can only succeed when carried out together – especially in the light of the “Millennium Development Goals”.
2. Financing Biodiversity and Reduction of Harmful Subsidies
2.1 A key reason for missing the CBD’s 2010 target is the lack of financial resources. It is estimated that globally only 8-12 billion USD are spent on biodiversity (EU agricultural subsidies amount to 74 billion USD per year). 45 billion USD are estimated to be necessary for the effective
management of the world’s protected areas, a very small investment compared to the economic value these areas generate, when intact, through ecosystem services (estimated 500 billion USD). At the same time, the costs of ongoing biodiversity loss would amount to at least 7% of global
GDP by 2050 if no action is taken (all figures from TEEB, 2008). Despite of a multitude of promises, most governments still do not live up to their responsibility to invest in the future, especially as far as the support to developing countries is concerned. Therefore COP-10 must adopt an ambitious and binding strategy for the mobilisation of resources, with clear targets for governmental and private funds, monitoring mechanisms,
the development of innovative financing mechanisms and the reduction of subsidies that are harmful for biodiversity (e.g. in agriculture and fisheries).
2.2 At COP-10 all governments (including the EU) should commit to spend at least 1% or their national budgets (including the EU budget) directly on the protection of biodiversity “at home”. In addition, industrialised countries must make commitments for significant additional financial contributions to support developing countries to protect biodiversity. The German commitment made at COP-9 (500 Million EUR by 2012 and from 2013 500 Million EUR on a yearly basis) as well as the Norwegian one (600 Million USD per year over a period of three years) must be followed by others in the same order.
2.3 As part of the Resource Mobilisation Strategy the development of innovative financing mechanisms must be accelerated significantly (e.g. on Payments for Ecosystem Services, REDD+, innovative taxation, auctioning of emission rights etc.), COP-10 should decide on a concrete road-map.
3. Protected Areas
3.1 The CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas is a success story: to date 12.2% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface is under protection. By 2020 this must be expanded to at least 20% of the terrestrial and marine surface, to achieve a representative network that includes all areas
important for biodiversity in all eco-regions. COP-10 must include this as a binding target in the Strategic Plan of the CBD.
3.2 Even more important than an increase in the proportion of land or sea designated for protection is the issue of whether protected areas are in the right places. Unfortunately many national systems of protected areas are not designed to conserve biodiversity comprehensively. It is vital that CBD Parties ensure that all areas of particular importance for biodiversity are included in their national systems of protected areas. In this regard standard criteria should be developed for the identification of sites of global biodiversity significance.
3.3 Especially as far as marine protected areas are concerned, there is urgent need for action, both in territorial waters (only 5.9% protection so far) and, even more, in off-shore waters beyond national jurisdiction (only 0.5% protected). To conserve the diversity of marine life in the oceans, and to safeguard the related ecosystem services, governments must significantly increase their efforts to establish a representative global network of marine protected areas.
3.3.1 In particular, COP-10 should come up with a concrete road-map outlining how the criteria for off-shore marine protected areas that were adopted at COP-9 will be applied to identify all relevant areas by 2010, and to effectively protect them by 2020.
3.3.2 To ensure transparency, a central registry of identified ecologically and biologically important marine sites in areas within and beyond national jurisdiction should be established.
3.4 Both on land and at sea many protected areas only exist on paper, without positive effects on species, habitats and local communities. COP-10 must decide on new concrete steps for the effective protection and management, as well as the sustainable use of protected areas. At the same time, governments should be reminded of the target to ensure an effective management of protected areas by 2012.
3.5 Without sufficient funding the Programme of Work on Protected Areas is, on the long run, doomed to fail. At COP-10, in particular governments of industrialized countries must make binding commitments for the financing of the world’s protected areas worldwide (identification, protection , management, monitoring, communication). The “Life-Web” Initiative urgently needs more donors: at least the current funding needs of 290 Million US Dollar should be matched by the end of COP-10.
4. Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)
4.1 COP-10 must, as decided at COP-9, conclude and adopt a Protocol on the fair sharing of access and benefits from the use of genetic resources (ABS). The issue at stake is creating a global system to ensure that companies making profit from genetic resources (e.g. pharmaceuticals and
cosmetics based on substances found in wild animals and plants) share part of those profits with the countries and communities from where the species from which the genetic resources have been obtained originate. This must be legally binding, fair and transparent, and ensure the rights of
origin countries in a comprehensive way. In particular it should consider the need to build up implementation resources in the developing countries.
If ABS negotiations are concluded successfully in Nagoya, the result should be higher incentives for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity in developing countries. As these countries link success on ABS to progress in other areas of the Convention (e.g. on the Strategic Plan), a failure on ABS could have disastrous consequences for COP-10 in general.
5. Climate change
5.1 To mitigate and adapt to climate change, humankind is more than ever dependent on healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. To ensure forests, wetlands and seas keep being sinks of greenhouse gases (and do not turn into sources), and in order to benefit from the protection nature offers
against climate change induced disasters like floods, droughts and erosion, the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems must become an integral part of any climate policy. COP-10 provides a special opportunity to achieve this:
5.1.1 COP10 should take decisions on the development and implementation of a Joint Work Programme of the three Rio Conventions on climate (UNFCCC), desertification (UNCCD) and biodiversity (CBD). This Programme should identify links and synergies between the Conventions, improve coordination and effectiveness of their work, and ensure that damage to biodiversity from climate policy measures is avoided.
5.1.2 A clear signal should be sent by COP-10 to the ongoing negotiations on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+): Any new regime must focus on the protection and restoration of natural and semi-natural forests (instead of plantations or GMO
trees), and must include strict biodiversity and social safeguards.
5.1.3 In particular COP-10 should adopt unequivocal decision on „bio-energy“ and „bio-fuels“, to ensure that such production actually reduces greenhouse gasses (which must include calculation of emissions from indirect land use change, ILUC) and avoids damage to ecosystems and
For questions and/or comments regarding these key messages, please contact:
Ariel Brunner, Head of EU Policy – BirdLife European Division
E-mail: ariel.brunner [at] birdlife.org