Friday, October 22, 2010

The 2020 Biodiversity Strategic Plan

The Pacific Voyage Media Team

22 October 2010 Nagoya Japan - Over 6,000 participants representing the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity are meeting in Nagoya Japan to finalise the negotiation on a new global strategic plan for biodiversity.  Having failed to meet the 2010 target to halt the rate of biodiversity loss, a new plan is on the table for discussion.  This one that has taken into account the lessons learnt of the past decade.

It is forecast the “Aichi, Nagoya Agreement” will have a 2050 vision, with a focus on the period 2011 – 2020.

For the Pacific region, this plan is crucial to helping sustain livelihoods.  The value of island biodiversity not only encompasses economic benefits, it has also provided communities with cultural traditions and is the foundation for our Pacific way of life.

Some 90% of land in the Pacific region is still held in traditional ownership.  Our corner of the globe provides 60% of the World’s tuna fisheries; has more endemic species than anywhere else on the Planet and also has 1,060 species known to be threatened with extinction.

The loss of biodiversity will impact upon our region significantly as for Pacific communities biodiversity is more than “something nice to look at.”  It is the food we eat, the source of our income to support our families, our traditional medicines and our culture.

The Pacific, like other regions of the globe, is committed to ensuring that this time we come to an agreement on a plan that will work for us all.

“Biodiversity is important to the whole region because it gives us resources that help to sustain our life on a daily basis,” said Eleni Tokoduadua of Fiji.

“It’s not only for our culture, it is for our livelihood our tradition and I think it’s important that we ensure that it is protected for the future generations who will benefit from it as well.”

It is proposed that a 20-point plan act as the map to help the Planet address the biodiversity crisis by 2020, however the issue for this is the question of financing to help save biodiversity.

There are currently two options being discussed as to the mission of the new plan; one option is to take action towards halting the loss of biodiversity and by 2020 to have reduced the pressures on biodiversity and restored ecosystems and ecosystem services.  The second option is to halt biodiversity loss by 2020 provided sufficient funding is made available.

“We need to look at how to align and update our National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans with the new CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and at the same time identify options for funding to implement the new targets,” said Faleafaga Toni Tipama’a of the Samoa Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The post 2010 Strategic Plan contains the 20 point plan which encompasses; raising the awareness of the value of biodiversity, to reduce pressures on biodiversity, safeguard ecosystems and to raise the benefits from biodiversity to all. 

It is proposed that these must be met by 2020 by achieving goals such as; making people aware of biodiversity and what they can do; control or eradicate invasive species; ensure fair "access and benefit sharing" of genetic resources that would set guidelines to allow pharmaceutical companies - for instance, to use plants in the Amazon in return for sharing benefits with local indigenous peoples. Some nations want a linked fund to help developing nations; and all countries should have adopted a "national biodiversity strategy and action plan."

Countries are being asked to commit to targets that they will be able to reach in terms of dedicating marine and land protected areas to achieve nature conservation.

In the Pacific a key concern is ensuring that we commit to targets that can be achieved with adequate and timely provision of resources to carry these out in our region.

“We must make sure that targets are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) with realistic sets of indicators to monitor progress towards achieving these targets” said Faleafaga.

“Our negotiations now are for us to set realistic targets that will see the region sustain nature conservation work we already have underway.  We have reached 2010, now we need to move forward to 2020 with a realistic goal.”

Papua New Guinea is also taking into account the impacts of climate change upon our biodiversity and how this could be included in the 2020 Strategic plan.

“Biodiversity protection cannot be isolated from the climate change impacts,” said Rose Singadan of the Papua New Guinea delegation, Singadan is the Manageress of Protected Areas in PNG.

“Any strategy we do must take into consideration climate change due to our low lying islands and mountainous areas.  Climate change will affect everything that we are talking about here, it is important we consider climate change in the 2020 Strategic Plan.

For more on the 2020 Strategic Plan please visit:

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