6 October 2014, Pyeongchang Korea, CBDCOP12 - Traditional Korean drums set an exciting pace this morning at the opening of the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the fast pace symbolic of the urgent need to save global biodiversity.
The World Wide Fund for Nature's Living Planet Report 2014 found that global wildlife populations have declined on average by 52% in the 40 year period since 1970.
Over the next two weeks thousands of representatives of governments, non-governmental organisations, indigenous peoples, scientists and the private sector are gathered to accelerate the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011 - 2020 and its 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets which are to be achieved by the end of 2020.
All of which contribute to halting biodiversity loss across the planet.
The collection of decisions to be taken at the CBD COP 12 is referred to as the Pyeongchang Road Map and is anticipated to include a resource mobilisation strategy expected to significantly increase the resources available for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
"There has been increased financial investment and policy action to protect biodiversity, yet, studies show that it will be difficult to reach the full set of the Aichi targets if we remain within the current trajectory, due to accumulated and increased pressures on the natural world," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner at the opening of the CBD COP 12.
"We need to do more, and do it fast, to protect the very fabric of the natural world."
At the opening today the Presidency of the Conference of the Parties was handed over from the Government of India to the Government of Korea. The last Conference of the Parties to the CBD was hosted in Hyderabad, India in 2012.
The CBD COP 12 is from 6 to17 October in Pyeongchang, Korea. 14 Pacific island countries are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity with Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu currently in Korea attending the CBD COP12. Soon to arrive are the Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
To read the full CBD Secretariat press release on today's opening event please visit: http://www.cbd.int/doc/press/2014/pr-2014-10-06-cop-12-en.pdf