26 Oct 2010

Ministers swarm in to Nagoya

By Konstantin Kreiser
The convention center now resembles a beehive, with the arrival of ministers meeting up with their delegations in the corridors, crowds of photographers and camera crews with their equipment in tow, and a scaling up of the security and police - although compared to other international conferences demonstrations are hard to find. Suddenly today excitement broke out in the courtyard. Flashing cameras, even some screaming. The reason? Harrison Ford was at the conference! An international celebrity who wants to show his support for nature and its conservation. Later in the evening Ford was at an event celebrating the work of the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), which BirdLife is actively involved in (more information). Tomorrow I will have the opportunity to participate as one of twenty NGO representatives at the meeting of ministers. I hope there will be by then new offers on the table for them to discuss. Parallel to the meeting with the ministers the contact and work groups continue to struggle as they negotiate with each other paragraph by paragraph.over the texts. The German Environment Minister Röttgen was today in Nagoya, and we had the chance to meet him for an hour with him on the progress of negotiations. He made a commitment to help revive the stalled negotiations. Germany has since improved on some issues but there is still more room for improvement. And this willingness to negotiate is also mirrorred by other countries. The arrival of the ministers has given a new stimulus to achieve concrete results here. There are reportedly new developments now in both Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS ) and on financing - whether this will be enough remains to be seen, but at least doing something. With some colleagues from the BirdLife Partnership we met a delegation of European MEPs for nearly an hour. We discussed with them the issues on which the EU should move on for Nagoya to be a success. The hum from the hive is becoming more tuneful!