UN: Governments To Double Biodiversity Funding, Push Access/Benefit-Sharing

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At last week’s high-level meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) governments agreed to double financial flows toward biodiversity by 2015, the CBD has announced. They also came up with strategy to move forward on access and benefit-sharing of biodiversity.

The announcement came at the conclusion of the 11th CBD Conference of the Parties on 20 October. The meeting took place in Hyderabad, India, and included discussion of the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (IPW, Biodiversity/Genetic Resources/Biotech, 12 October 2012).

Funding is aimed at helping developing countries meet internationally-agreed Biodiversity Targets and the main goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, the CBD said in a press release [pdf].

“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 Achim Steiner, UN under-secretary and UN Environment Programme executive director.

The government of India committed over $50 million toward biodiversity work.

The meeting reviewed progress in the implementation of national biodiversity plans, and “reaffirmed the need for enhanced technical and scientific cooperation among countries, while underlining the potential need for enhanced cooperation among developing countries,” the release said. A new online National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans Forum was launched to help with this.

On access and benefit-sharing from biodiversity, an issue related to intellectual property rights, the release said:

“A decision on Article 8(j), relating to indigenous and local communities was adopted which provided a major component of work on customary sustainable use. The decision also advanced three tasks that may contribute to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol including Guidelines related to priori informed consent, mutually agreed terms and others.”

It continued: “Governments also provided guidance to the preparations for the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol and agreed that a third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol will be needed in the upcoming two years. It was further urged to complete a number of tasks in advance of entry into force in a timely manner.”

No further details were provided at press time.

The full list of decisions made at CBD COP 11 is expected to be available at: www.cbd.int/cop11

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