Monday, October 18, 2010

Small Islands Developing States share a voice at the Nagoya Biodiversity conference

Pacific Voyage Media Team

19 October Nagoya, Japan - The Small Island Developing States which are vulnerable to environmental degradation, climate change and overexploitation of natural resources are making their voice known here in Nagoya at the Convention for the Biological Diversity 10th Conference of the Parties (CBD COP10) in Nagoya.

Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean and other Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), Dr Spencer Thomas, Economic and Policy Advisor in Grenada’s Ministry of Finance says SIDS “are the most vulnerable of all countries.

Thomas stated that because of the lack of economic capabilities and capacity building, the group, though small wants their presence known and have a strong and active participation in the global negotiation process.

L - R Joe Aitaro Palau, Dr Spencer Thomas at SIDS briefing

SIDS, Thomas said needs assistance from developed nations to strengthen its national and regional capabilities in terms of financing, capacity building and technology.

“We need to make known SIDS vulnerability and how critical biodiversity loss to the states’ livelihood,” Thomas says.

 Many of the small island states face similar problems with respect to the conservation and management of their natural resources.

The biological diversity and the high degree of endemism of many species on Small Island developing States is well known. Over 4,000 species of plants and animals are endemic to Small Island Developing States.

Because of their small size and the endemic nature of many species, the biological diversity of Small Island Developing States is extremely fragile

The focus of SIDS is on; deforestation and forest degradation,  traditional subsistence farming systems,  in situ and ex situ conservation facilities, coastal and marine biodiversity, freshwater biodiversity, and  aquaculture.

Thomas is hopeful that by the end of the convention there is an agreement on the halt of biodiversity losses on the targeted year of 2020.

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