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Rich countries to hike funding for biodiversity

Rich countries will double their funding of average between 2006 and 2010 to the developing countries by 2015 to conserve biodiversity, a United Nations conference decided on Friday. Chetan Chauhan reports.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2012 01:09 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Rich countries will double their funding of average between 2006 and 2010 to the developing countries by 2015 to conserve biodiversity, a United Nations conference decided on Friday.

The Convention on Biological Diversity meeting took a decision after a marathon meeting well past Friday midnight with entire developing world - African group, China and Brazil - rallying behind the draft decision circulated by India.

Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan said the most important achievement was to achieve the goal of unfinished work at last conference of parties in Japan on resource mobilization to meet 20 Aichi targets for biodiversity.

"After intense negotiations and tremendous efforts by the entire team and great cooperation by all the parties, we did manage to achieve that goal," Natarajan, who was also president for the conference, said.

India on Friday took the lead to break the logjam by introducing a new negotiating text proposing a balanced middle path.

After the initial opposition by European Union, Japan and Canada, the important agreement was achieved after several rounds of hectic negotiations and diplomatic parleys.

Apart from agreement on resource mobilization, the summit also took decisions on ecosystem restoration, national capacity building, conserving marine and wildlife areas, financial mechanism, geo-engineering and protecting rights of indigenous people.

In return to financial commitment by the rich nations, three-fourth of the developing countries will be required to place biodiversity in their national development agenda, having a defined mechanism to utilize the funds to be provided and come out with achievable outcomes.

The final document, however, does not specify whether the money to be provided will be public or private funded. It kept the option open for the rich nations with the document saying urging all parties to consider all possible sources and means to meet the resources required.

The commitment at Hyderabad will mean that European Union will have to provide four billion Euros every year, just a billion more than its funding for saving biodiversity in 2010.

In all, the estimate is that the developing world's funding may be inadequate to protect the fast deteriorating biodiversity.

Commenting on the decisions, United Nations Environment Programme executive director Achim Steiner said the countries have sent a clear signal and delivered "additional commitments" underlining the fact that "biodiversity and ecosystems are a developing priority and central to a transition to an inclusive green economy".

Another success of the conference was that for the first time, developing countries, including India and several African states, pledged additional funds above and beyond their core funding towards the work of the CBD.

The conference also launched Hyderabad Call for Biodiversity Champions - a programme to accept pledges from governments and organizations in support of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. India has already pledged Rs 250 crore.

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