Minister Röttgen: International community has launched long overdue trend reversal to conserve biological diversity

Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen considers the decisions adopted at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, to be a global starting signal. "In Japan the international community has launched the long overdue trend reversal to put a halt to ongoing destruction of nature. The ambitious decisions in the three key areas can be attributed in part to the EU's resolute stance", commented Minister Röttgen at the end of the meeting on Friday evening. Minister Röttgen participated in the UN meeting in Nagoya at the beginning of the week.

The meeting took decisions in three key areas: participants adopted a new target and an ambitious strategy on the global conservation of biological diversity from 2011 to 2020, set binding financing targets for its implementation and adopted internationally binding regulations for access to genetic resources and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization.

Minister Röttgen described the Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization as a "breakthrough". After 20 years it has finally been possible to set out the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity in concrete terms. The international community now has an effective instrument at its disposal to prevent biopiracy that provides both developing countries and user countries, especially developed countries, with a reliable framework for the use of genetic resources. The possible establishment of a multilateral fund was laid down in the Protocol for cases that cannot be unambiguously clarified in the framework of the new instrument.

Additionally, the meeting participants agreed on an ambitious new global target for biological diversity: by 2020 all states must have taken effective measures to halt the loss of biological diversity. This target will be achieved through the new international strategy containing 20 specific sub-targets. An ambitious resource mobilisation strategy will accompany its implementation. "With these groundbreaking decisions the international community has mapped out the course of international biodiversity conservation policy for the next 10 years. We now have to breathe life into this process," stressed Ursula Heinen-Esser, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry, who participated in the meeting on behalf of Minister Röttgen from the middle of the week.

With regard to climate protection and biodiversity, a link to forest conservation has successfully been made. The aim of this partnership is to support international climate negotiations with the goal of developing guidelines geared to halting deforestation and destructive forest use (the so-called REDD mechanism). In Nagoya Minister Röttgen announced that the Federal Environment Ministry will make available an additional 10 million euros for the conservation of tropical rainforests which are of particular significance for climate protection. These funds will be channelled to a World Bank fund.

The Nagoya meeting also highlighted the significance of protected areas for the conservation of global biodiversity. Adequate financing must be secured for this. The global initiative LifeWeb, which was established primarily with the support of Germany at the Conference of the Parties in Bonn in 2008, can play an important role in this regard. The meeting agreed on further steps to expand a global network of marine protected areas. Proposals for ecologically and biologically significant marine areas, both within and beyond national jurisdictions, are to be elaborated on a regional basis and, following adoption at the next Conference of the Parties, will be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly. "We also made good progress in the field of marine conservation, and we sent an important signal", noted Parliamentary State Secretary Heinen-Esser.

On the margins of the meeting, the final report of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) was presented. This study was launched with the primary involvement of Germany in 2007. Its goal is to investigate and present the economic value of biological diversity and the costs of destroying nature. The final report is a summary of all the individual reports published to date. Using the examples of a natural ecosystem (forest), a human settlement (city) and an economic sector (mining), the study outlines how the economic concepts and instruments it describes can help incorporate the value of nature into decision-making processes at all levels.

In Nagoya the CBD Secretariat was given the mandate to elaborate a proposal on how to improve cooperation between the three major UN environmental conventions (Convention on Biological Diversity, Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention to Combat Desertification).

29.10.2010 | Press release No. 168/10