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Double biodiveristy fund: India urges rich nations

Over 180 countries moved closer to agree that rich countries would double their funding for saving biodiversity in the developing world by 2014-15 at the biodiversity conference in Hyderabad, Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Oct 19, 2012 15:26 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Over 180 countries moved closer to agree that rich countries would double their funding for saving biodiversity in the developing world by 2014-15 but with a condition ---- the baseline to arrive at the final figure for funding by the developed world will be taken at the next biodiversity conference in 2014 in South Korea.


According to official sources, a group of 27 ministers representing different geo-political groups from across the globe started discussing the consensus draft floated by environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan on Friday morning and their decision is expected late in the evening.

Once the ministerial group clears the draft, it would be placed for approval of around 184 countries participating in the conference.

This is a last effort to save the lost ground with world showing “hollow” commitment towards biodiversity by not putting in money to achieve 20 Aichi biodiversity targets to be met by 2020.

Funds between US $ 150 billion to $ 450 billion is required to achieve the ambitious targets.

The fortnight long conglomeration having about 14,400 people including the staff had cost India Rs. 80 crore-- about 4% of environment ministry’s budget --- had moved at snail’s pace on resource mobilization at the cyber city but the outcome is not what the world desired.

Negotiators of several key countries lacked clarity on how much they can offer on the table, leading to delays in sorting out vital issues.

“Money requires finance ministry’s approval to put money on table which was not there for some,” a European negotiator said, adding that even one country can block the negotiations.

“There does not seem to be the spirit to save biodiversity and protect rights of people living in biospheres,” said Ashish Kothari of NGO Kalvariksh, who has followed the negotiations in Hyderabad since beginning.

The 11th conference of parties was expected to provide money for saving biodiversity and a financial mechanism to utilize the funds.

The rich nations led by European Union, Japan and Canada had blocked any move towards consensus forcing India to bring the chair’s text on Friday morning.

“We are hopeful of a positive outcome,” a government official said.

But, the biggest stumbling block for the chair text is Canada, European Union and Japan which describes it as a view of the developing world. India is set to get support of the African group, which has emerged as champion for the cause of biodiversity and the poor living there.

Namibia had strongly advocated the need of the developing world to specify money for meeting interim targets if not the Aichi targets to be met by 2020.

Although the resource mobilization is stuck, the Hyderabad convention is set to deliver several instruments including on protected areas, strategic plan, reporting and monitoring to meet 2020 Aichi targets, new and emerging issues such as synthetic biology, marine and coastal ecosystem and sustainable wildlife.

“There are only minor differences on pending issues except resource mobilization and I am confident that they would be adopted at the plenary,” said official spokesperson for Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN body providing secretarial services for the conference.


Important decisions of CoP 11 on Biological Diversity


* New global effort to protect marine, coastal biodiversity, protected areas and wildlife

* Guidelines for protection of inland water ways

* Ways to use of biodiversity for poverty eradication and development

* Harmonisation of business with biodiversity to ensure the former does not damage the latter

* Global strategy for plan conservation and to prevent invasion of alien species

* Global Taxonomy initiative

* Have policies to reduce impact of biofuels and climate change on biodiversity

* Monitoring mechanism for strategic plan to achieve Aichi targets 2020 to conserve biodiversity

* Mechanism to deal with new and emerging areas of concern such as geo-engineering and synthetic biology.