Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Looking back: Pacific attendance at every International UN Biodiversity Conference

18 May 2011 Nadi, Fiji - Since the very first Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP) in 1994, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has consistently provided support to the Pacific island region at these negotiations.   
A brief review of Pacific attendance and performance at all CBD COP negotiations was compiled for participants at a Pacific island meeting on biodiversity in Nadi this week.   The performance of the region at the 10th International Biodiversity conference in Nagoya last year and how we move forward is the topic on the table for discussions.

Dr Jill Key (right) SPREP

“In consistently attending the international negotiations on biodiversity it shows the dedication and commitment from the Pacific region towards conserving and protecting our biodiversity,” said Dr Jill Key SPREP’s Capacity Development Adviser.
“In the Pacific it is the biodiversity that supports the livelihoods of people.  It has a lot of meaning in the region as the foundation of our culture and traditions as well as providing an economic income for a lot of Pacific families.  The Pacific is committed to the international process.”
As for the active performance of the Pacific region at the meetings, over the past decade the Pacific has made interventions during the negotiations at each CBD COP.  Last year in Nagoya the Pacific made 33 interventions on 17 different issues, and it was also the first time that an opening and closing statement was made from the Pacific negotiators on behalf of the region.

Tuvalu (left), IUCN Oceania (right) at the CBD COP 10

At the international negotiations on biodiversity, the key issues for the Pacific region have been; Protected areas with 22 statements which began with the seventh meeting in Kuala Lumpur; Invasive species was addressed through 18 different Pacific interventions that have been made since the fifth meeting in Nairobi, Kenya; Marine and coastal biodiversity is an issue for which 17 Pacific statements have been presented since the second meeting in Indonesia; and the Pacific have made 12 interventions at the international negotiations on Knowledge of indigenous communities since COP4 in 1998 hosted by Slovakia.
“It is important that the thematic topics and issues that are important to the Pacific region continue to be followed through and raised at COP meetings to emphasise their importance to our region particularly progress on actions taken to address these issues,” said SPREP’s Biodiversity Adviser, Easter Galuvao.
The next Conference of the Party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP11) will be hosted by India in 2012.

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