Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Realities of Conservation at the CBD COP

by Seema Deo, Education and Social Communications Adviser, 28 October Nagoya Japan -

While textual language is debated to determine the fate of the planet’s biodiversity in several rooms of the Nagoya Conference Centre, and environment leaders make statements in the high level segment, a different type of buzz is happening in other parts of the Centre, which is the hub of the 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Side events featuring diverse conservation initiatives, presenters wearing colourful costumes reminding us of the great diversity of humans, displays with unique giveaways, movies, a massive bird carrying biodiversity messages and a host of other delights await those venturing into Building 2 of the Centre. More awaits just outside the Centre, where community groups and businesses are highlighting their work to safeguard the natural environment and the plants and animals in it.

Educational display
As I wandered around the various exhibits at the outdoor displays, I was struck by the commitment and determination of many of the people I spoke with. A group from Korea was highlighting concern about the destruction of resting spots for a migratory crane due to development; in Okinawa, a proposed military development is being opposed; a large corporate organisation has found ways to turn rubbish into resource while, next to their exhibit a small community group showcases how to plant native flowers in urban areas.

At the exhibits and at many of the side events, the underlying theme is action. People doing what they believe in and in whatever manner they are able, to make the world a better place for everyone.

A global agreement at Nagoya on working together to halt biodiversity loss will be the icing on the cake for many of these committed groups.

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