UN meet Monday to discuss biodiversity plan

The eleventh meeting of the United Nations` Conference of the Parties (COP 11) will begin on Monday.

Updated: Oct 07, 2012, 18:11 PM IST

Hyderabad: The eleventh meeting of the United Nations` Conference of the Parties (COP 11) beginning here Monday will review the progress and discuss next steps to implement the biodiversity commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

More than 160 countries attending the meet will discuss the progress made and challenges to implement the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

"The governments are meeting in Hyderabad to agree on the next steps in support of implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, agreed at COP 10 in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan," said a statement from the CBD.

Signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the CBD is dedicated to promoting sustainable development.

Its strategic plan, a 10-year framework for action, including on the 20 biodiversity targets set at the COP 10 in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in 2010 have been established as the overall framework for biodiversity work in the UN system.

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets include raising awareness among people on the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably by 2020.

India`s Minister for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natrajan and CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Diaz will be among the key speakers at the inaugural session on Monday.

The issue of resource mobilisation for action on the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets will be top on the agenda. Talking to reporters Saturday, Diaz admitted that fund mobilisation would be a key issue considering the economic slowdown in many countries.

"Two years ago, in Nagoya, the world set the framework for action to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Since then, we have seen significant progress around the world. This is encouraging, but we know that we need to do more in order to realize the ambitions of the Strategic Plan and to achieve the Aichi Targets," said Diaz.

"This will be challenging, as it involves short-term costs. However, the environmental social and economic benefits will be realised in the long term. Most of the time, this will simply mean spending existing resources in a different way," he added.

The meet will discuss marine and coastal biodiversity, ecosystem restoration, climate change and conservation of protected areas.

The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP MOP 6), which began Oct 1 here, concluded Friday while the COP 11 will continue till Oct 19 at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC).

While the COP MOP 6 was attended by 2,000 delegates, the COP 11 is expected to witness participation of over 8,000 representatives from governments and international organisations.

The COP 11 also includes a ministerial segment from Oct 16-19, where heads of state and ministers of environment will engage in discussions related to the key themes of the conference. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the conference Oct 16.

`Cities for life`, a summit of cities and local authorities, will run in parallel on Oct 15 and 16. A ground breaking report on cities and biodiversity will be released Oct 16.

Island states from around the world will also convene a summit to discuss new commitments in support of island biodiversity, and to celebrate "bright spots" - examples of conservation success from around the world.