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Countries agree to double resources for biodiversity protection by 2015

More funds pledged to support biodiversity protection but some feel it is not enough.

At last week's United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Hyderabad, India, the world's governments agreed to increase funding to support actions aimed at halting the rate of loss of biodiversity. Developed countries agreed to double funding* to support efforts in developing states towards meeting the internationally-agreed 'Aichi' Biodiversity Targets, and the main goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.[1]

Other key decisions taken at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 11) include new measures to factor biodiversity into infrastructure-related environmental impact assessments and renewed efforts to sustainably manage the world's oceans.[1]

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) said: "These results, coming in a period of economic crisis, demonstrate that the world is committed to implementing the CBD. We see that governments are moving forward in implementation and seeing biodiversity as an opportunity to be realized more than a problem to be solved."[1]

"We now need to move forward in the next two years, under the able leadership of India, the COP 11 president, to consolidate this work and to advance further. I look forward to other pledges in support of the Hyderabad call for Biodiversity Champions that will allow us to realize our goals" he said.[1]

Reacting to the news of increased funding, WWF said about $200 billion must be invested in biodiversity every year if the targets are to be met.“What’s been agreed in Hyderabad represents less than half this number,” it said in a statement and called the deal “disappointing”. Conservation International also said much more must be done.[2]

Some ALTER-Net researchers were at the Hyderabad conference explaining their role in international efforts to protect biodiversity. For example, representatives of the EU-funded ROBIN project co-organised a side event along with Adrian Peres of the European Commission. ROBIN is focussing on the role of tropical forest biodiversity in climate change mitigation schemes (as funded under the UN REDD+ initiative). One of the main questions posed at the event was 'how do we monitor the biodiversity and other co-benefits that we want to get from the implementation of REDD+ for climate change mitigation?'. A discussion on this subject was preceded by four short talks covering policy, business and research perspectives.[3]

* From a baseline of average annual aid in the period 2006-2010.


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