2 Oct 2010

Five critical issues that will ‘make or break’ Nagoya – Policy Briefing

By Nick Askew
This is an extract from the BirdLife Policy Brief for CBD COP-10, Nagoya – Five critical issues that will ‘make or break’ Nagoya - Policy briefing In May 2010, the Global Biodiversity Outlook concluded that the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have failed to meet the 2010 Target to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biological diversity as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth. Despite progress in some areas, the main drivers of biodiversity loss have increased and ecosystem services are rapidly diminishing. The world’s governments have not addressed the root causes of biodiversity loss, failing to muster the political will and finances to address the expanding demands on the planet and the unfair ways that resources are shared. In October, Governments have a chance to redress this balance when they meet in Nagoya in what has been dubbed a ‘make or break’ meeting for the CBD. The meeting is expected to review the experience of implementation of the Convention and its work programmes, adopt an updated Strategic Plan with associated 2020 Targets, further develop a strategy for resource mobilisation and adopt a new protocol on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing. The prevailing view is that the CBD has developed useful tools but it is now time to focus determinedly on implementation. Negotiators arriving in Nagoya will know that the UN are considering the establishment of an Inter-governmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and that the report of the study on ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity – TEEB’ will be launched during their meeting. These crucial developments highlight that decisions governing the future of our planet must be built on strong scientific foundations. Importantly, the TEEB report will present estimates of the costs to human welfare that result from the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services – currently estimated at about 1% of global GDP per year but set to jump to 7% of estimated GDP per year by 2050 if urgent action is not taken. As a centrepiece of the International Year of Biodiversity, the 10th Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP-10) must provide political momentum for a massive increase in biodiversity conservation efforts. It should generate a sense of genuine urgency and recognition that given the resources and political will, tools exist to address the biodiversity crisis effectively.