UN Biodiversity Conference: countries commit to phasing out subsidies harmful to nature

Ministers send an unequivocal signal to the agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism sectors

Ministers send an unequivocal signal to the agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism sectors

At the launch of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancún, Mexico, ministers from all over the world committed to mainstreaming biological diversity into other policy areas such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism. This is laid down in the Cancún Declaration adopted on Saturday evening at the conclusion of the high-level segment. In the declaration, ministers reaffirm the 2010 decision by the CBD parties to phase out incentives and subsidies that are harmful to biodiversity. Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks participated in the high-level segment for Germany. The UN Biodiversity Conference will continue at working level until 17 December.

Minister Hendricks commented: "We will not be able to conserve biodiversity on our planet unless we make fundamental changes in sectors such as agriculture and fisheries. The Cancún Declaration helps environment ministries worldwide in their fight to make the mainstreaming of biodiversity into other policy areas a matter of course. I attach particular importance to the commitment to phasing out subsidies that are harmful to nature, which is something we strongly advocated. In Germany we know that agriculture can only become more nature-friendly if agricultural subsidies are structured in a nature-friendly way. The Cancún Declaration is an important step in the right direction."

Country representatives will continue negotiations on numerous other issues until 17 December. This includes reviewing progress made on implementing the biodiversity targets for 2020. Four years before this deadline it is high time to step up efforts considerably.

04.12.2016 | Press release No. 311/16 | International Environmental Policy