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Recent Meetings

Biodiversity and Wildlife


Meetings from: 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 

December 2010

WIPO IGC Makes Progress on Traditional Cultural Expressions, Traditional Knowledge

10 December 2010: Held from 6-10 December 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland, the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) achieved progress on draft articles for the protection of traditional cultural expressions and traditional knowledge, and defined the work to be undertaken by two intersessional working groups on traditional knowledge and genetic resources, which will meet in February and March 2011. The IGC's mandate is to conduct text-based negotiations to reach agreement on an international legal instrument (or instruments) that ensure the effective protection of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources, without prejudice to the work pursued in other fora. At the session in Geneva, an open-ended drafting group of the IGC streamlined draft articles on traditional cultural expressions developed by an intersessional working group in July 2010. The IGC also reviewed draft articles on traditional knowledge and transmitted them for consideration at the intersessional working group to be held from 21-25 February 2011. The third intersessional working group, to be held from 28 February-4 March 2011, will focus on genetic resources, and the Committee requested it to prepare a draft text of objectives and principles, as well as a draft list of options for future work. The session also witnessed the launch of a fundraising initiative for the WIPO Voluntary Fund for Accredited Indigenous and Local Communities. [WIPO Press release] [Meeting documents]
Conclusions of High-level Round Table on ITPGR Available Online

December 2010: The moderator's summary of the outcomes of the High-level Round Table on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), which convened on 7 December 2010, in Rome, Italy, has been made available online. The Round Table was hosted by the Government of Italy, with the support of the ITPGR Secretariat, under the title “Leading the Field.” Participants focused on the role of the ITPGR in addressing food security in a time of climate change. Speakers from 60 ITPGR parties emphasized: the need to continue exchanging and using plant genetic resources for food and agriculture to achieve food security, particularly in the context of the increased risks associated with climate change; the Treaty's role in that regard; that all parties should make their relevant plant genetic resources available through the Multilateral System; that the Treaty's Benefit-sharing Fund should be used to assist small-scale farmers to adapt to climate change; and that investing in the Treaty should continue and the Treaty's Core Administrative Budget should be funded adequately. It was noted that the ITPGR is formally recognized as one of the constituent pillars within the recently adopted Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing concluded under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and as an international adaptation-financing mechanism by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). [Meeting documents] [Moderator's summary]
Forest Day Highlights Urgency to Act on REDD+

5 December 2010: Forest Day 4, held on the sidelines of the Cancun Climate Change Conference, addressed the need to press on with a global mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable use of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). Forest Day 4, organized around the theme "Time to Act," highlighted the urgency of ensuring the survival of the world's forests, their biodiversity and the hundreds of millions of people that depend on them. The 1500 people in attendance discussed how to accelerate the integration of forests into climate protection and adaptation schemes from local to global levels. Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico, addressed the day-long event, and underscored the urgency to "push and push hard for full incorporation of REDD+ into a long-term international climate change agreement." Participants attended several sessions focusing on forest-related issues such as: biodiversity; mitigation and adaptation; forest governance; monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV); optimizing multiple benefits of sustainable forest management and REDD+; agricultural drivers of deforestation; land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF); and experiences with community-based forest management. Frances Seymour, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), commented that regardless of  whether an agreement on REDD will take place in Cancun, "voluntary commitments and initiatives have a momentum of their own," noting that rural communities were taking matters into their own hands with community-based forest enterprises. The event was hosted by the Government of Mexico, through the National Forestry Commission, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and CIFOR. A summary of the event will be made available on CIFOR's website. [Forest Day 4 Website] [CIFOR Press Release]
Agriculture and Rural Development Day Forwards Recommendations to UNFCCC Negotiators

6 December 2010: Participants at Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD) 2010, which convened in Cancun, Mexico, on 4 December 2010, in parallel with the UN Cancun Climate Change Conference, discussed agriculture sector adaptation and mitigation strategies and identified recommendations for UNFCCC negotiators regarding these strategies. The event featured opening statements by Mexico's Vice-Minister for Rural Development, Ignacio Rivera Rodríguez, and Inger Andersen, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Fund Council Chair and World Bank's Vice President of Sustainable Development. ARDD 2010 was co-hosted by the Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security, CGIAR, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, and the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA). A summary from the event was developed, and following revisions based on comments received during concluding discussions, the summary of ARDD 2010 will be presented on 6 December at a Cancun Climate Change Conference side event titled “Enabling Agriculture and Forestry to Contribute to Climate Change Responses.” This side event will also report on the results of Forest Day 4, which convened the day after ARDD 2010, on 5 December. In messages to the UNFCCC negotiators, participants call for: using fast-track financing to support agricultural adaptation and mitigation activities; including action on food security and hunger in any post-2012 agreement, especially in the Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) text; taking a decision to set up an agricultural work programme under the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA); REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable use of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks) to promote sustainable agriculture intensification as a means to halt deforestation; recognizing the synergies and opportunities for adaptation and mitigation co-benefits; and ensuring that a new or revised Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) includes agriculture and other land-use changes. At the conclusion of ARDD 2010, CGIAR and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) launched a strategic partnership titled “Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).” [IISD RS Coverage of ARDD 2010] [ARDD 2010 Website]
UNESCO Marine Heritage Site Managers Discuss Conservation

26 November 2010: Managers from the 43 marine sites on the World Heritage List of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) met for the first time from 1-3 December 2010, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to explore ways of strengthening their conservation. Participants heard keynote addresses from Jean-Michel Cousteau, ocean explorer and marine conservationist, and Greg Stone, senior vice-president and chief scientist for oceans at Conservation International. In addition, an official ceremony was held for inscription of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (US), which was added to the World Heritage List in August 2010, along with the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (Kiribati). UNESCO underscores that these sites represent the “crown jewels of the ocean,” as places "recognized by the international community for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological and geological processes." The site managers' meeting was co-organized by UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and financed by 10 other national governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. [UNESCO Press Release] [World Heritage Marine Programme Website]
Second Committee Adopts Texts on Biodiversity

1 December 2010: In meetings on 30 November and 1 December 2010, the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) concluded its 65th Session, taking action on draft resolutions on agriculture development and food security, among other biodiversity-related items. In total, the Committee adopted 40 draft resolutions and three draft decisions during the present Session. The agreed drafts would have the General Assembly: declare 2011-2020 as the UN Decade on Biodiversity and ask the Secretary-General, in consultation with Member States, to lead the coordination of the Decade's activities on behalf of the UN, with the support of the Convention's secretariat and those of other biodiversity-related instruments as well as relevant UN funds, programmes and agencies; call for a one-day high-level session, on 20 September 2011, on “Addressing desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication,” with the aim of raising awareness of those issues at the highest level, reaffirming the fulfillment of all commitments to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and its 2008-2018 Strategic Plan, and contributing to preparations for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, also known as Rio+20); request the Governing Council (GC) of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to convene a plenary meeting providing for the full and effective participation of all member States, particularly developing countries, to determine modalities and institutional arrangements for the Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); and welcome the 26 February Nusa Dua Declaration as a contribution to the UNCSD. On agriculture development and food security, the Committee would have the UNGA: stress the need to enhance production, productivity and sustainability, while calling for the timely realization of the 2009 G-8 commitment to mobilize US$20 billion over three years for sustainable agricultural development; stress the need to achieve those aims through public and private investment, better access to markets and credit for smallholder farmers, improved land-use planning, crop diversification and commercialization, sound water management, strong agriculture value chains, and rural infrastructure investment, as well as by empowering rural women as critical agents of rural development and food security; call for efforts to boost the agricultural sector's ability to predict, prevent and address the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, recognizing the consequences of the global food crisis for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in developing countries and the need for Africa to embark on a “green revolution” to boost agricultural productivity, food production and regional food security; and urge Member States and international organizations to pursue policies and strategies to improve the functioning of markets and ensure equitable access for all, while calling on the World Trade Organization (WTO) to promote policies favorable to enhanced agricultural trade. [Summary of 30 November meeting] [Summary of 1 December meeting]

November 2010

CBD Secretariat Releases Report of Cairo Workshop on Biodiversity and Finance

10 December 2010: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released the report of the Regional Workshop on Biodiversity and Finance in Support of the Nagoya Outcome, held from 29-30 November 2010, in Cairo, Egypt. The workshop's objectives were to elaborate regional financial responses to the outcomes adopted by the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the CBD. Responses were to include an effective action plan for the Arab region for the strategy for resource mobilization and innovative financial mechanisms, and to provide a platform for developing a common vision, shared commitments and concrete funding action for the Arab countries and their external partners to support implementation of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan and the associated targets. The workshop participants agreed to the Arab Regional Statement for Action on the 2020 Biodiversity Targets, Funding Strategies and Innovative Financial Mechanisms, which underscored, inter alia, the need for all Arab countries to: sign and ratify the Nagoya Protocol as soon as possible, but no later than 2012; raise awareness at all levels of society; develop national policy framework on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) accordingly; update their national biodiversity strategies and action plans as the first step to respond to the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan; appoint resource mobilization focal points by 2012 and develop country-specific resource mobilization strategies; mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services into sectoral ministries, and mitigate the negative impacts of unsustainable tourism on biodiversity; launch a regional programme with the Rio Conventions to mitigate concurrent challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and land degradation, and to enhance adaptability of the region to environmental changes; increase the number and coverage of protected areas for marine and coastal ecosystems; conduct national assessments and develop regulations on endangered species; and establish or update a clearinghouse mechanism. Furthermore, participants highlighted that the Arab Environment Facility provides an innovative example of mobilizing financial cooperation for environmental objectives at the regional level, and that the Arab Union for Protected Areas can assist in expanding the Arab protected areas system. They stressed the need for: an Arab regional biodiversity strategy and action plan and an Arab strategy for resource mobilization; national and regional workshops to promote better understanding of innovative financial mechanisms; valuing Arabic biodiversity and ecosystem services, in order to incorporate them into development sectors and national financing, inviting the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to undertake an Arab TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) initiative; regional workshops on invasive alien species; a regional training workshop to transfer knowledge from the North to the Arab region on ecological footprints and sustainability; and financial resources to enable the Palestine Authority to prepare national reports and undertake the biodiversity planning exercise. [The Report] [Meeting documents]
ICCAT Extraordinary Meeting Adopts By Catch Measures

27 November 2010: The 17th Extraordinary Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) took place from 17-27 November in Paris, France, bringing together over 500 delegates from 35 contracting parties. The Commission reviewed the status of tuna stocks and by caught species, including sharks and turtles, in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The contracting parties adopted: new management measures for bigeye and bluefin tunas and North Atlantic swordfish, as well as for the conservation of sharks and sea turtles that are taken as by catch and improved measures for monitoring, surveillance and control. [ICCAT Press release]
ACP Fisheries Ministers Adopt Action Plan

25 November 2010: The second meeting of the fisheries ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States, which took place in Mahe, Seychelles, from 24-25 November 2010, adopted a resolution addressing climate change and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, among other issues. In the resolution, ACP fisheries ministers: recognize the growing importance of aquaculture in meeting the increased world demand for fish protein in an environment of depleted fisheries resources resulting from overfishing, climate change, pollution and habitat destruction; express concern over the threat and current impacts of climate change on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors; and recognize that the identification and implementation of appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures will represent a high cost for vulnerable States. Ministers appealed to the ACP States to take steps to further integrate fisheries and oceans into the national and international climate change agendas to secure space for fisheries and oceans in financial instruments that support adaptation and mitigation, including in the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund, and the Adaptation Funds. Ministers also urgently requested the international community to agree at the Cancun Climate Change Conference to a package of immediate and concrete action to assist ACP States, in particular those most vulnerable to climate change crises. Ministers further requested that, in view of their special circumstances, ACP States benefit from a special and preferential treatment in respect of the overall prohibition of fisheries subsidies. They urged: ACP States to pool their technical and financial resources together to better combat IUU fishing; the international community to support financially and technically, through specific programmes, the efforts made at the national and regional levels to prevent, counteract and eradicate IUU fishing; and support international measures for combating IUU fishing such as the listing of IUU vessels by the EU and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), as well as the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The ACP fisheries ministers further agreed to a five-year strategic plan of action, expressing commitment to a more pro-active approach for the preservation of aquatic biodiversity and the economic value of the fisheries sector. They agreed to devise fisheries management plans and use relevant assessment tools for evaluating the efficiency of (ACP and foreign) fishing fleets. [The Resolution] [ACP Press-Communiqué]
International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime Launched in St. Petersburg

23 November 2010: During the International Tiger Conservation Forum, held from 21-24 November, in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, the Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Secretary-General of ICPO-INTERPOL, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the President of the World Bank and the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization signed a Letter of Understanding to bring into effect the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon said the Consortium's creation “sends a very clear message that a new era of wildlife law enforcement is upon us, one where wildlife criminals will face a determined and coordinated opposition, rather than the current situation where the risks of detection and of facing penalties that match their crimes are often low.” Also during the Forum, Scanlon addressed the Illegal Tiger Trade session, during which he highlighted CITES' work on tiger conservation and combat of illegal trade. Scanlon noted the belief of the CITES Secretariat that much of today's illegal trade in tigers could be markedly reduced if concerted, collective efforts were made by the law enforcement community against those involved in the destructive crimes. Detailing the complementary skills of the agencies involved in the Consortium, he said that the goal was to introduce a new era to wildlife law enforcement. [Scanlon's Statement] [CITES Press Release] [The Letter of Understanding]
Tiger Summit Adopts Global Recovery Programme, Endorses St. Petersburg Declaration

24 November 2010: In an historic effort to save tigers from extinction, 13 Government representatives meeting at the International Tiger Conservation Forum endorsed the St. Petersburg Declaration and agreed to double tiger numbers by 2022. The International Tiger Conservation Forum, which was hosted by Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and World Bank President Robert Zoellick, took place from 21-24 November 2010, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Viet Nam are the tiger range countries that committed towards implementing the Global Tiger Recovery Program, the strategic plan envisaged by the St. Petersburg Declaration. Deliberations regarding the development of an institutional structure to implement the aims and objectives of the Declaration and its Recovery Program are also underway. The 13 countries have agreed to strengthen international collaboration, improve scientific monitoring to help restore the species' habitats and transboundary corridors, and halt poaching and illegal trade of tigers and tiger products. The Recovery Program underscores the importance of creating incentives for local people to protect tigers and strengthening wildlife law enforcement and legislation in order to achieve the St. Petersburg targets. The program also foresees the involvement of local people in biodiversity protection in an effort to reduce conflicts occurring between tigers and local communities. Speaking at the Forum, Zoellick announced that the World Bank, through its International Development Association (IDA), hoped to provide US$100 million to save the wild tiger by supporting wildlife habitat protection and stopping the illegal trade in tiger body parts. The Bank's support would amount to almost one-third down payment on the US$350 million that the Global Tiger Recovery Program is estimated to cost. The balance will be sought from governments and other International Financial Institutions. In an article published in The Guardian, Zoellick stresses that the crisis facing tigers overwhelms local capabilities and transcends national boundaries. Noting that saving tigers is a global challenge, he calls for a partnership of national governments and organizations "pooling their expertise and passion." Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), drew attention to the CBD new Strategic Plan, including targets to: at least halve and where feasible bring close to zero the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests; place 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas under protection; and restore at least 15% of degraded areas. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), underlined the importance of  safeguarding international migration corridors and trans-border habitats. She emphasized that the CMS "is unique in that it can provide a framework to protect not only the animal, but also its habitat."[UNEP Press Release][Zoellick's Article][Djoghlaf's Statement][Tiger Forum Website] [World Bank Press Release] [CMS Press Release]
CMS Standing Committee Considers Process on the Future Shape of the CMS

29 November 2010: The 37th Meeting of the Standing Committee to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) was held in Bonn, Germany, from 23-24 November. Among other issues, the Committee discussed conservation instruments under development, including agreements on the Houbara Bustard and Central African Elephants, the process on the future shape of the CMS, and three draft resolutions on marine debris, ecological networks and response to emergencies, which will be examined further before submission to the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CMS. The Committee also endorsed a paper on CMS Campaigns, CMS Ambassadors and other honorary roles and awards presented by the Secretariat. [CMS Press Release]
GEF Council Expands Small Grants Programme

18 November 2010: The 39th Meeting of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Council approved US$134 million for the next phase of the Small Grants Programme (SGP), which awards up to US$50,000 in funds for  projects by civil society and community based organizations. The approved funds are expected to support as many as 3,640 new projects, a 27% increase over the last four-year period. Other projects approved aim to: strengthen governance of invasive alien species in Chile (US$4 million); use leopards to strengthen conservation efforts in Yemen (US$2.4 million); reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through industrial efficiency in Kazakhstan (US$7 million); and phase-out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in aerosol metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) in the Russian Federation (US$2.5 million). During the meeting, which convened from 16-18 November 2010, at GEF headquarters in Washington DC, US, the Council heard statements from: Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); Paul Horwitz, representing Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat; Donald Cooper, Executive Secretary of the Stockholm Convention; and Marcia Levaggi, Manager of the Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat. Regarding climate change adaptation, the Council reviewed the "Evaluation of the GEF Strategic Priority for Adaptation" (GEF/ME/C.39/4) and "Management Response" (GEF/ME/C.39/5), and requested the Secretariat to develop and implement screening tools to serve as a first step to ensure the mainstreaming and targeting of adaptation and resilience, to reduce the risks from climate change in GEF focal areas and its activities. The Council also approved a Results-based Management and Knowledge Management Work Plan for GEF-5, and agreed to establish a pilot process with the goal of building a new framework to expand the number of accredited institutions that are eligible to receive funding to assist countries to prepare and implement projects on the ground. New agencies accredited to the GEF shall be referred to as GEF Project Agencies, while the status of the ten GEF Agencies (the original three Implementing and the seven additional Executing Agencies) shall remain unchanged. [GEF Council Documents] [GEF Press Release]
Bluefin Tuna Seminar Provides Perspectives Ahead of ICCAT

16 November 2010: The seminar titled “What is the Future of Bluefin Tuna? Perspectives before the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)” immediately preceded the 17th Special Meeting of ICCAT (ICCAT 2010). The event, which took place on 16 November 2010, at the Oceanographic Institute in Paris, France, was attended by over 200 participants representing intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academia and representatives of the media. The seminar considered two different views on a proposal to address this issue under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and perspectives before ICCAT. The event was an initiative of the Pew Environment Group and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI-Sciences Po). Hosted by the Oceanographic Institute, the seminar consisted of presentations by expert panelists, followed by an interactive audience discussion and a reception. [IISD RS Summary] [Seminar Website]
G20 Adopts Seoul Action Plan

12 November 2010: Leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) met in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 11-12 November 2010 and adopted: a Leaders' Declaration; the Seoul Action Plan including a commitment to the Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth; and concrete measures summarized in a Multi-Year Action Plan on Development, focusing particularly on the development of infrastructure in developing countries. According to the Leaders' Declaration, the G20 express: strong commitment to promptly bring the Doha Development Round to a successful, ambitious, comprehensive, and balanced conclusion consistent with the mandate of the Doha Development Round and built on progress already achieved; and resolute commitment to fight climate change, and spare no effort to reach a balanced and successful outcome at the Cancun Climate Change Conference in late 2010. The Summit document containing the Seoul Action Plan includes sections on fossil fuel subsidies, climate change and green growth. On fossil fuel subsidies, the G20 leaders: reaffirm their commitment to rationalize and phase out, over the medium term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, with timing based on national circumstances, while providing targeted support for the poorest; direct finance and energy ministers to report back on progress made in implementing country-specific strategies and in achieving the goals agreed in Pittsburgh and Toronto at the 2011 Summit in France; note the preliminary report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and request these organizations, together with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to further assess and review progress made in implementing the Pittsburgh and Toronto commitments and report back to the 2011 Summit in France; and recognize the value of the sharing of knowledge, expertise and capacity with respect to programmes and policies that phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. On climate change, G20 leaders: reiterate their commitment to take strong and action-oriented measures and remain fully dedicated to UN climate change negotiations; reaffirm the objective, provisions, and principles of the UNFCCC, including common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities; commit to achieving a successful, balanced result at the Cancun Conference that includes the core issues of mitigation, transparency, finance, technology, adaptation, and forest preservation; and support and encourage the delivery of fast-start finance commitments. Those that have associated themselves with the Copenhagen Accord also reaffirm their support for the Accord's implementation. Leaders also acknowledge: the global environmental and economic challenge of ongoing biodiversity loss; the inextricable link between climate change and biodiversity loss; the outcomes of the global study on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity; and the successful conclusion of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held in Nagoya, Japan, on 18-29 October 2010. On green growth, G20 leaders further: commit to support country-led "green growth" policies that promote environmentally sustainable global growth along with employment creation, while ensuring energy access for the poor; recognize that sustainable green growth, as it is inherently part of sustainable development, is a strategy of quality development, enabling countries to "leapfrog" old technologies in many sectors, including through the use of energy efficiency and clean technology; commit to take steps to create, as appropriate, the enabling environment for the development and deployment of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, including policies and practices in G20 countries and beyond, including technical transfer and capacity building; support the ongoing initiatives under the Clean Energy Ministerial and encourage further discussion on cooperation in research and development as well as regulatory measures, together with business leaders; and request the Energy Experts Group to monitor and report back on progress at the 2011 Summit in France. G20 leaders also commit to stimulate investment in clean energy technology, energy and resource efficiency, green transportation, and green cities by mobilizing finance, establishing clear and consistent standards, developing long-term energy policies, supporting education, enterprise and research and development, and continuing to promote cross-border collaboration and coordination of national legislative approaches. In the multi-year development action plan, G20 leaders commit to: develop comprehensive infrastructure action plans and assess ways to integrate environmental safeguards into infrastructure development in an effective and cost efficient manner; establish a G20 panel for infrastructure development and provide independent comment in an iterative process to ensure workability, maximization of the outcomes and a focus on environmental sustainability and transparency; and identify, enhance as needed, and promote the best existing developmental, social and environmental standards for responsible investment in value chains and voluntary investor compliance with these standards. [The G20 Leaders' Declaration] [The Seoul Summit Document] [Development Plan of Action] seoul summit logo
Third Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification Develops Statement to UNCCD CST

11 November 2010: The third conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification, which convened from 8-11 November 2010, at the Sede Boqer's Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben Gurion University in Israel, developed a "Statement on the Synergistic Implementation of the Rio Conventions in the Drylands." The conference was attended by government and non-government officials, senior representatives of the UNESCO, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as well as researchers from 63 countries working in areas related to combating desertification and the development of sustainable livelihoods in the drylands. Among the central topics discussed in a special session sponsored by UNESCO was the potential for synergistic implementation of the Rio conventions in the drylands. Conference participants called upon the UNCCD Committee on Science and Technology (CST) as well as its Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) to consider the issue of synergies at their upcoming meetings in Bonn, Germany, in February 2011. Specific proposals also included: recognizing and addressing both the physical and socio-economic drivers that jointly lead to land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss in the drylands through improved monitoring, assessing and reporting on the interlinkages among desertification, biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development; creating stronger synergies between national reporting schedules and requirements for the three Rio conventions to improve the efficiency and reduce the reporting burdens, particularly on affected developing countries; integrating UNCCD National Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans and UNFCCC National Adaptation Plans of Action, and to mainstream these plans into National Sustainable Development Plans; creating synergies between the UNCCD impact indicators and the newly adopted CBD Strategic Plan and targets; encouraging bilateral and multilateral donors to fund projects and programmes that jointly implement the Rio conventions; and recognizing the importance of payment for dryland ecosystem services and other appropriate incentives to promote a favorable enabling environment for the national and local implementation of the three Rio conventions in the drylands. [Meeting Website]
INTERPOL General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Environmental Crime

8 November 2010: Meeting in Doha, Qatar, from 8-11 November 2010, the General Assembly of INTERPOL has adopted a resolution in support of the organization's Environmental Crime Programme. The resolution calls upon national law enforcement authorities to recognize that “environmental crime is not restricted by borders and involves organized crime networks which engage in other crime types including murder, corruption, fraud and theft.” It notes that there is a vital need for a global response and that INTERPOL should play a leading role in supporting national and international enforcement. Environmental crime encompasses activities ranging from illegal trade in wildlife, timber and marine species, to transborder movements of hazardous waste and the illicit exploitation of natural resources. The adopted resolution was welcomed by the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). [The Resolution] [CITES Press Release]
FCPF, FIP and UN-REDD to Streamline REDD+ Action

6 November 2010: The governing bodies of the UN-REDD Programme and the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and Forest Investment Program (FIP) met in Washington DC, US, on 6 November, to discuss collaborative approaches for the three initiatives in implementing REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable use of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks). During this first joint meeting, representatives of the three initiatives, as well as observers from civil society, indigenous peoples, the private sector and other global partners, came together to advance a common approach for REDD+ assistance centered on individual country-led strategies and a phased approach to REDD+. Alexander Muller, Assistant Director General, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), stressed the need to adopt a coordinated approach "to meet the big challenges of our time: poverty, food security, the degradation of ecosystems and dangerous climate change." In the open dialogue, participants presented experiences, reflected on progress, challenges and opportunities in REDD+ implementation, and considered ways to maximize REDD+ activities at the country level. [UN-REDD Press Release]
Plans for an International Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change Underway

8 November 2010: The Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) programme and the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development have announced plans for a new International Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change. The announcement was made on 5 November 2010, at a side event held during the Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in The Hague, The Netherlands. The Commission plans to start its work in early 2011 and will identify policy changes and actions for sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change. In particular, the Commission will focus on compiling evidence on sustainable agriculture that meets the triple goals of contributing to food security, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation goals. At the side event, participants discussed issues including: the global geographic scope of the Commission; the need to link its work with international, regional and national policy processes; the need to complete its work within a year; the economics of climate change in agriculture; and institutional barriers to the uptake of science. CCAFS is a programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [CCAFS Press Release]
ALBA Nations Adopt Declaration Opposing Commodification of Nature

5 November 2010: The Ministerial Committee for the Defense of Nature of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas – Treaty of Commerce of the People (ALBA-TCP) adopted a declaration opposing the concept of "green economy," in which nature is seen as "capital" for producing tradable goods and services. Meeting from 3-5 November 2010, in La Paz, Bolivia, ALBA-TCP members (Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela) declared: that nature has infinite value but not a price, and is not for sale; their absolute rejection of the privatization, monetization and mercantilization of nature; their condemnation of unsustainable models of economic growth; that ecosystem goods and services should be conserved as public goods, respecting the sovereignty of States; that only "the conscious intervention of state and society" will allow for the recuperation of Mother Earth; their hope that agreements to be reached at the Cancun Climate Change Conference will be in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, with no promotion of carbon market mechanisms; and their commitment to addressing the realization of a referendum on climate change and the promotion of the participation of the peoples of the world. [The Declaration]

October 2010

Land Day 3 Considers the Nexus Between Biodiversity and Desertification

23 October 2010: The Secretariats of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) organized Land Day 3 on 23 October 2010, in parallel to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the CBD, in Nagoya, Japan.  Land Day 3 was part of the Rio Conventions Ecosystem and Climate Change Pavilion, and was co-sponsored by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ - Germany) and the Arid Land Research Center of Tottori University (ALRC). It addressed the theme "The Nexus Between Biodiversity and Desertification." Panel sessions considered: how the synergetic implementation of the CBD and UNCCD fosters action at the country level; how decision makers can ensure an equal sharing of environmental benefits through sustainable use of biodiversity and land; and how scientists can contribute to biodiversity conservation in the drylands of Eastern and Central Asia. Ambassador Tommy Koh (Singapore), who served as the Chair of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, also known as the 1992 Rio Earth Summit), delivered the keynote address. Noting that the CBD, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UNCCD were products of the Earth Summit, Ambassador Koh reflected on how agreement was reached to negotiate the UNCCD, why the global community should care about desertification and why synergies among the three Rio Conventions is important. Among the issues raised during discussions were: proposals for approaches at the country-level financing that could enhance synergy; the need to bring back small holders who had fallen off the national level agenda on synergy; organic farming as an strategy to foster synergy; the policy failure to promote synergy; how development cooperation could support the development of local business; and an over-expectation that the ABS protocol could capture all the concerns surrounding biodiversity loss. In his closing remarks, UNCCD Executive Secretary Gnacadja stressed the need to mainstream what others consider to be externalities. He announced that Land Day 4 would take place in Bonn, Germany, in June 2011, and closed Land Day 3 with a quote from The Forgotten Billion, a new study by UNCCD and the UN Development Programme that claims: “for too long, the drylands have been overlooked by political and business leaders the world over. Now is the time to reverse this history of neglect. Spotlighting drylands offers great untapped potential, certainly in terms of MDG achievement but also because many of our planet's drylands represent some of the last great frontiers for economic development.” [UNCCD Land Day 3 webpage] [Rio Conventions Ecosystem and Climate Change Pavilion]
Oceans Day Adopts Nagoya Oceans Statement

23 October 2010: "Oceans Day" at Nagoya took place on the sidelines of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Nagoya, Japan, to emphasize the importance of marine and coastal biodiversity as a common concern of humankind and its essential role for preserving life on Earth. The Day brought together over 150 participants from 35 countries representing all sectors of the global oceans community. Building on the discussions on marine and coastal biodiversity held at the Global Oceans Conference 2010, held in Paris, France, from 3-7 May 2010, Oceans Day at Nagoya addressed the major threats to the world's marine and coastal biodiversity, which are exacerbated by climate change. Participants addressed the status and trends in biodiversity loss and progress made in achieving biodiversity targets, examined various tools and approaches to conserving and sustainably utilizing marine and coastal biodiversity, and discussed potential next steps in advancing the global oceans agenda. Oceans Day featured presentations from panelists organized into thematic panels focused on major issues in marine and coastal biodiversity. The co-chairs of the Nagoya Oceans Day drafted the Nagoya Oceans Statement, which calls for the high-level government representatives gathered at the CBD COP 10 to: rekindle the political will and commitment of resources to halt marine biodiversity loss; restore degraded marine habitats; and establish global representative and resilient networks of marine and coastal protected areas in the next decade, 2011-2020. The Statement further stresses the need for a new process of setting new marine and coastal biodiversity targets at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (UNCSD, or Rio+20) and at the CBD COP 11 in 2012 in order to move the marine biodiversity agenda forward. Oceans Day at Nagoya was organized by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands, in association with the Secretariat of the CBD, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Ocean Policy Research Foundation (OPRF), Japan, with funding support from various governments and intergovernmental and UN organizations. [Nagoya Oceans Statement] [Nagoya Oceans Day Programme]
IMO Meeting Adopts Assessment Framework for Ocean Fertilization

20 October 2010: Parties to the treaties regulating the dumping of wastes at sea met from 11-15  October 2010, at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in London, UK, and adopted an Assessment Framework for Ocean Fertilization. The 32nd Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (London Convention) and fifth Meeting of Contracting Parties to the 1996 Protocol thereto (London Protocol) adopted the Assessment Framework for Scientific Research Involving Ocean Fertilization as resolution LC-LP.2(2010). The Framework, which is designed to assess whether proposals for ocean fertilization constitute legitimate scientific research, was developed by the Scientific Groups under the London Convention and Protocol. The resolution follows previous discussions by parties to the London Convention and Protocol on planned operations for large-scale fertilization of the oceans using micro-nutrients to sequester carbon dioxide. The Assessment Framework provides criteria for an initial assessment of a proposal and detailed steps for completion of an environmental assessment, including risk management and monitoring, and does not contain a threshold below which experiments would be exempt from its assessment provisions. [Website for the London Convention and Protocol] [IMO Press Release]
UNECE, FAO to Explore the Role of Forests in the Green Economy, Call for Comments on Action Plan

16 November 2010: The chair of the Timber Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Linda Langner, and the chair of the European Forestry Commission under the aegis of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Peter Blomback, reported that at a meeting on 15 October 2010, the joint Bureaux of the two bodies decided that the theme of their joint session scheduled for October 2011 will be “Forests in a Green Economy.” The special session will include discussions on concrete examples and suggested actions in several areas, including: sustainable forest management for a green, sustainable, climate-friendly economy; the forest industry's role in green building; wood energy's contribution to a sustainable energy future; sustainable production and consumption; valuation of forest ecosystem services ("value creation through conservation and sustainable management"); green jobs in forestry; and policy and institutional frameworks conducive to achieving a green economy. The Bureaux also agreed to develop an action plan, directed at policymakers, on improving and promoting the forest sector's contribution to a green economy. The action plan is expected to address forest-based products, wood energy, sustainable forest management, valuation of ecosystem services, green building, and institutional and policy incentives, providing a concrete contribution to the UNCSD (also called Rio+20) in 2012. As part of the formulation of the action plan, the Bureaux also launched a consultation open to States, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, the private sector and academic institutions. The consultation, open until 15 January 2011, is soliciting views on the possible main topics of the action plan; the objectives for increasing the role of the forest sector under each topic; and for each objective, the actions that are already taken and/or should be required to increase the role of the forest sector in achieving a green economy. A draft of the action plan will be developed in the first quarter of 2011 and reviewed during an informal consultation meeting open to all stakeholders on 18-19 April 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland. [UNECE/FAO Action plan and Call for comments]
EU Environment Ministers Adopt Negotiating Position for Cancun

14 October 2010: At their meeting on 14 October 2010, in Brussels, Belgium, the Council of the EU Environment Ministers agreed on a negotiating strategy for the Cancun Climate Change Conference to be held in late 2010. In the Council's conclusions, the Ministers stress the need for a stepwise approach, building on the Kyoto Protocol and the outcomes of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and paving the way for a global and comprehensive legally binding framework, integrating the political guidance given in the Copenhagen Accord. Ministers note the limited progress made at the Bonn and Tianjin sessions towards identifying elements of a balanced package in Cancun, and emphasize that a very significant increase in the pace of the negotiations will be needed in order to reach a successful and balanced outcome in Cancun. Ministers indicate that decisions to be adopted in Cancun should cover: adaptation; mitigation; technology; capacity building; REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks); agriculture; monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV); finance and market-based mechanisms. They stress the need to anchor all countries' pledges in Cancun, whether made pursuant to the Copenhagen Accord or otherwise, in the context of the UNFCCC, with a view to facilitating the clarification of those pledges, mobilizing support for their implementation and supporting discussions on options to strengthen the collective level of ambition with a view to meeting the 2°C objective. Ministers also express support for a decision in Cancun to establish a registry to start capturing and facilitate matching of actions and support. Ministers commit to make rapid progress towards developing sound guidelines, rules and modalities for REDD+ actions, in order to operationalize the REDD+ mechanism through a decision in Cancun, thereby ensuring its environmental integrity. They indicate that a decision on REDD+ in Cancun should address: securing safeguards, in particular with regard to biodiversity, consistent with the EU's objectives at the Nagoya Biodiversity Conference; recognizing the rights and knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities; and improving forest governance structures, supported by appropriate MRV requirements. In addition, Ministers note that the Cancun Climate Change Conference should urge the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop without delay a global policy framework in a manner that ensures a level playing field and that does not lead to competitive distortions or carbon leakage, in accordance with the principles and customary practices of ICAO and IMO, taking into account the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC in the use of potential revenues. Ministers also underline that the Cancun Climate Change Conference should provide a basis for the introduction of new sectoral or other scaled-up market mechanisms, including through pilot schemes, and the recognition of units resulting from such mechanisms, while preserving environmental integrity. They also: commit to work with all UNFCCC parties to develop guidelines for a coherent and balanced system for MRV, including international consultation and analysis; underline the need to promptly operationalize a Climate Technology Centre and Network; and emphasize their willingness to strengthen bilateral and regional alliances with a view to building bridges between parties that reinvigorate and feed into the UNFCCC, stressing the importance of the partnerships that the EU and its Member States have initiated with other UNFCCC parties on REDD+, MRV and mitigation, transparency of fast-start financing, adaptation and access to renewable energy, in preparing the ground for Cancun. [Council Conclusions]
APEC Oceans Ministers Discuss Fisheries Management

12 October 2010: Oceans-related Ministers of the members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) discussed "Healthy Oceans and Fisheries Management towards Food Security" on 11-12 October 2010, in Paracas, Peru. The meeting focused on four themes: sustainable development and protection of the marine environment; climate change impacts on the oceans; free and open trade and investment; and the role of oceans in food security. At the conclusion of the meeting, Ministers adopted the Paracas Declaration, in which they call for: seeking ways to promote cooperation among APEC economies to contribute towards regional assessments in the APEC region and understanding of the marine ecosystem; ensuring sustainable management of the marine environment by encouraging capacity building and information sharing; encouraging APEC economies to reduce both sea and land-based sources of marine pollution and marine debris; gathering and sharing scientific knowledge on climate change and its impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems, fisheries and aquaculture; strengthening disciplines on subsidies in the fisheries sector, taking into account the importance of the fisheries sector for poverty reduction, job creation and food security; and promoting the sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture resources both domestically and internationally. APEC oceans-related Ministers are to convey the outcomes of the Paracas meeting to the first APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security, which will be held from 16-17 October 2010, in Niigata, Japan, and to the APEC Leaders' meeting scheduled in November 2010, in Yokohama, Japan. [APEC Press Release] [Paracas Declaration]
Biosafety Negotiators Agree on Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress

12 October 2010: The fourth meeting of the Group of Friends of the Co-Chairs on Liability and Redress in the context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety reached agreement on outstanding issues with regard to the draft supplementary protocol on liability and redress, namely financial security, the definition of "LMOs and products thereof" and the preamble. The meeting was held from 6-11 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan, immediately prior to the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 5). Originally scheduled for three days, the meeting was extended throughout the weekend with informal consultations continuing into the night on Sunday. A legal drafting group was established during the first day of COP/MOP 5 to revise the supplementary protocol text for clarity and consistency. [IISD RS coverage of the negotiations]
COFO 2010 Calls for 360 Degree Perspective on Forests

8 October 2010: The 20th session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Committee on Forestry (COFO 2010), which convened from 4-8 October 2010, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, was dominated by calls for an inter-sectoral approach to address problems facing forests. COFO participants also urged a “360 degree” perspective that takes into consideration the multiple functions and services that forests provide. In plenary sessions held throughout the week, participants discussed, inter alia: forest biodiversity, fire and water in the context of climate change; the Global Forest Resources Assessment; emerging opportunities and challenges in forest finance and forest governance; and preparations for the International Year of Forests (IYF) 2011. In the discussions on planned activities for the IYF, Jan McAlpine, Director, UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), said “Forests 2011” should be a celebration of the positive things related to forests and their role for people, highlighting biodiversity, climate and health. She explained that the UNFF, as the focal point for the UN system during IYF, will be working closely with the Secretariats of the Rio Conventions, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), and major groups, as well as artists and filmmakers. COFO 2010 adopted a final report, which includes requests to FAO to: assist countries in valuing the potential contribution of forests in climate change adaptation and mitigation; strengthen its capacity to share information related to biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change; and continue efforts to develop a report on the state of the world's forest genetic resources. On forests and water in the context of climate change, the Committee recommended that countries intensify work in this area and pay increased attention to socioeconomic issues related to forests and water and financing mechanisms, such as payments for ecosystem services, and recommended that FAO continue to review critical related issues and facilitate information exchange. In parallel to the meeting and throughout the week, many special events were held as part of the second “World Forest Week.” These events included panel discussions on, inter alia: phytosanitary standards; new developments in forest finance; linking policy dialogue and implementation; forest governance; reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing couuntries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+); and Growing Forest Partnerships. [IISD RS Coverage of COFO 2010] [COFO 2010 Website]
CMS Meeting Adopts Conservation Strategy for Dugongs

6 October 2010: Held from 4-6 October 2010, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the first meeting of the Signatory States of the Memorandum of Understanding on dugongs, developed under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), concluded that the species conservation strategy should address the need for greater protection of marine biodiversity by combining different conservation tools. A newly developed innovative toolbox to mitigate threats to dugongs includes incentives to replace harmful gillnets with alternative fishing gear to reduce bycatch and minimize mortality rates. Governments represented at the meeting noted that different conservation tools are necessary for reducing the entanglement in fishing gear of other marine species such as whales and dolphins, turtles and coastal sharks. Pilot projects are expected to be developed, to implement the new incentive based tools. At the meeting, Bahrain, Palau, Seychelles, Vanuatu and Yemen also signed the memorandum, bringing the number of signatories to 18. [UNEP/CMS press release]
UNEP Completes GEO-5 Regional Consultations

5 October 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has completed its scheduled regional consultations for GEO-5. The consultations were convened in Washington DC, US (September 2), Panama City, Panama (September 6-7), Ottawa, Canada (September 9), Bangkok, Thailand (September 16-17), Nairobi, Kenya (September 20-21), Geneva, Switzerland (September 23-24) and Bahrain (October 4-5). The consultations sought to identify priority environmental issues and challenges for each region. Agreed priorities for North America included land use, energy, freshwater and environmental governance. Priorities agreed for Latin America and the Caribbean region included: biodiversity; climate change; freshwater; soil, land use, land degradation and desertification; seas and oceans; and environmental governance. Priorities for the Asia and Pacific region included: climate change; environmental governance; biodiversity; freshwater; and chemicals and waste. Priority issues for Africa included: climate change; soil, land use, land degradation and desertification; biodiversity; freshwater; and seas and oceans. European priorities included: air pollution and air quality; biodiversity; chemicals and wastes; climate change; and freshwater, water and water resources. Priorities for West Asia included: freshwater; soil, land use, land degradation and desertification; energy; environmental governance; and oceans and seas. [UNEP GEO Meetings webpage] [IISD RS coverage of selected GEO regional consultations]
Ramsar Workshop on Conservation and Wise Use of High Andean Wetlands Evaluates Ecosystem Services

15 October 2010: The VIIth workshop of the Ramsar Regional Initiative for the Conservation and Wise Use of High Andean Wetlands took place in San José, Costa Rica, from 29 September-1 October 2010. The main outcomes of the meeting were progress in the preparation of a project on evaluation of ecosystem services of high Andean wetlands, which will be submitted to the fifth replenishment of resources of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund, the addition of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) as a member of the contact group of the strategy, and the preparation of web pages about the initiative on the Infoandina website. [Ramsar Report]

September 2010

UNWTO Celebrates World Tourism Day

September 2010: The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) celebrated World Tourism Day on 27 September. Jointly organized by UNWTO, the China National Tourism Administration and Guangdong Province, celebrations were centered in Guangzhou, China.  A High Level Dialogue on Tourism, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development was convened as the central event under the theme “Tourism and Biodiversity,” coinciding with the UN International Year of Biodiversity. The dialogue provided a platform to debate how tourism can contribute positively to biodiversity conservation and the quality of life of local populations, while minimizing potentially negative environmental and social impacts. [UN WTO Press Release]
GEO-5 Geneva Consultations Identify European Priorities

25 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Regional Consultation for Europe took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 23-24 September 2010, bringing together 53 participants representing a range of stakeholders, including UN agencies, government departments, research and academic institutions, the private sector and press from Europe. This meeting was the sixth in a series of seven regional consultations being undertaken by UNEP as part of the preparation for the production of the fifth GEO (GEO-5). The principal output of these consultations is a final report for each region containing the outcomes of the meeting, including key recommendations, regional priorities, agreed goals and target audiences. This consultation resulted in agreement on key regional environmental issues and challenges as follows: air quality and air pollution; biodiversity; chemicals and waste; climate change; and freshwater. Environmental governance was identified as an overarching issue. On climate change, participants highlighted the need to consider both mitigation and adaptation activities. Noting that its scope was broader, participants agreed to adopt Article 2 of the UNFCCC as the regional goal for climate change for GEO-5. This article requires stabilization of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. [IISD RS Summary] [GEO-5 Website]
CBD Workshop Highlights Biodiversity Benefits from REDD

1 October 2010: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has circulated the results of the Global Expert Workshop on Biodiversity Benefits of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which convened from 20-23 September 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Co-Chairs' summary of the workshop highlights that a well designed mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable use of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+), if successful, will have significant and unprecedented benefits for biodiversity, as well as for indigenous peoples and local communities. Both biodiversity and the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples were considered as necessary for the success of REDD+, with the permanent storage of carbon depending on well-functioning and resilient forest ecosystems, and on community participation and ownership. The meeting also identified risks to biodiversity and indigenous peoples, and highlighted the need for safeguards, national plans and approaches, and transparent and effective national governance structures. Participants recommended that the CBD explore possibilities for a technical workshop organized jointly by the CBD and UNFCCC Secretariats on how the CBD can support REDD+ safeguards, without prejudice to the negotiations. The Nairobi workshop was convened by the CBD Secretariat in collaboration with the UN-REDD Programme. [Workshop Report, including Co-Chairs' Summary]
UNGA Holds High-Level Meeting on Biodiversity

22 September 2010: A high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly was held on 22 September 2010, in New York, as a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity. At the event, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that conserving the planet's species and habitats is central toachieving sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Following a general discussion, thematic panels were held on the way forward in achieving the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the internationally agreed biodiversity goals and targets. Participants highlighted, among others: the need for political impetus and flexibility in the negotiations on a draft protocol on access and benefit-sharing; the opportunity to adopt an ambitious post-2010 strategic plan; and the importance of creating an intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES). A summary of the discussions will be transmitted to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the CBD, to be held from 18-29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. [UN Press Release] [High-level Meeting Website] [Background Document A/64/865] [IISD RS Coverage]
EUROBATS MOP-6 Launches Year of the Bat

22 September 2010: The Year of the Bat 2011-2012 was launched during the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS). EUROBATS was concluded under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). The sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties was held from 20-22 September 2010, in Prague, Czech Republic. During the meeting, the Year of the Bat 2011-2012 was launched. The Year is a joint campaign, led by CMS and EUROBATS, and backed by UNEP, which aims to promote conservation, research and education on the world's only flying mammals, with a focus on the ecological benefits that bats provide. [UNEP Press Release][Year of the Bat Website]
Regional Seas Meeting Discusses Pressures to the Marine Environment and Management Responses

22 September 2010: The 12th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, which took place from 20-22 September 2010, in Bergen, Norway, addressed, inter alia, issues pertaining to: marine and coastal invasive species and ballast water management;the implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA) and the Regional Seas Programmes; transboundary waters assessment programme; ecosystem-based management; and economic valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services. Furthermore, the meeting discussed the state of marine biodiversity, along with the key pressures and management response mechanisms. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has been working with all the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans to develop Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Outlook series consisting of a Global Synthesis and 18 Regional reports to be launched in Nagoya, Japan, on 19 October 2010, at the 10th session of the Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10). The next step will be to translate the conclusions of these regional reports to actions at the policy level. [Meeting website] [IISD RS Sources]
Interregional Negotiating Group Continues Negotiations on ABS Protocol

23 September 2010: The Interregional Negotiating Group (ING) on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) met from 18-21 September 2010, in Montreal, Canada, to continue the negotiation of a protocol on ABS under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The ING was established by the CBD's Working Group on ABS to finalize the negotiation of the protocol, with a view to having it ready for adoption by the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10). The meeting's outcome (UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/9/ING/1) will be transmitted to the ABS Working Group, which will reconvene in Nagoya, Japan, on 16 October 2010, immediately prior to COP 10. The meeting considered outstanding issues on several parts of the draft ABS protocol, including: provisions relating to access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization; the concept of utilization of genetic resources and how it should be defined in the context of the protocol; access and benefit-sharing with regard to traditional knowledge associated to genetic resources as well as in cases where such resources and knowledge are held by indigenous and local communities; compliance and related measures; and institutional clauses. Some progress was achieved towards an improved common understanding on the concept of utilization of genetic resources and its relation to derivatives, as well as on provisions on benefit-sharing and access. The meeting also considered provisions on scope, the relationship with other instruments, access to genetic resources for non-commercial research and access to pathogens in emergency situations, without making much progress. Several key issues remain outstanding and most delegates expressed concern about the prospect for concluding the negotiation of an ABS protocol during COP 10. [IISD RS coverage of the negotiations]
GEO-5 Regional Consultation for Africa Identifies Regional Priorities

22 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Regional Consultation for Africa took place in Nairobi, Kenya, on 20-21 September 2010. This was the fifth in a series of seven regional consultations being undertaken by UNEP as part of the preparation for the production of the fifth GEO (GEO-5). The principal output of these consultations is a final report for each region containing the outcomes of the meeting, including key recommendations, regional priorities, agreed goals and target audiences. The Africa regional consultation  resulted, inter alia, in agreement on regional priority environmental issues and challenges as follows: climate change; soil, land use, land degradation and desertification; freshwater; biodiversity; and oceans and seas. On climate change, participants clustered relevant issues into the categories of: climate extremes; adaptation; mitigation; financing; governance; climate monitoring and information; and capacity building among stakeholders. The Secretariat was advised to take note of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) list of priorities, which some participants described as representative of the region's needs. Regarding goals, most participants favored UNFCCC Article 3 paragraphs 1-3 on responsibilities, specific needs and special circumstances of parties to the UNFCCC and on precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change, and mitigate its effects. They also requested the authors to reference paragraph (e) of the Delhi Ministerial Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, which calls for the support of effective and results-based measures for the development of approaches on vulnerability and adaptation. [IISD RS Report] [Consultations Website]
GEO-5 Regional Consultation for Asia and the Pacific Identifies Priority Issues

17 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Regional Consultation for Asia and the Pacific took place in Bangkok, Thailand, on 16-17 September 2010. This regional consultation was the fourth in a series of seven regional consultations being undertaken by UNEP as part of the preparation for the production of the fifth GEO (GEO-5). The principal output of these consultations is a final report for each regional consultation, containing the outcomes of the meeting including all key recommendations, regional priorities, agreed goals and key target audiences. The Asia and the Pacific regional consultation focused on: the priority environmental issues and challenges to be the focus of the regional chapter of GEO-5; associated internationally agreed goals for these regional environmental priorities; and policy gaps related to these environmental priorities. The consultations resulted, inter alia, in agreement on regional priority environmental issues and challenges as follows: climate change, environmental governance, biodiversity, freshwater, and chemicals and waste. During the discussion and selection of internationally agreed goals for the region related to the environmental priorities selected, most participants emphasized that all aspects of climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, capacity building and finance, are important. By voting, participants selected Article 3, paragraphs 1-3, of the UNFCCC as the regional goal for climate change for GEO-5. This Article requires countries to protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. It further requires developed countries to take the lead in combating climate change, and provides that the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries should be given full consideration. Finally, it requires countries to take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Participants also recognized the importance of: the goals contained in Article 2 of the UNFCCC (stabilization of greenhouse (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system); the Bali Action Plan; and the Delhi Ministerial Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. [IISD RS Summary][GEO-5 Regional Consultations Website]
Cordoba Seminar Focuses on Agrobiodiversity and Climate Change

15 September 2010: Held from 13-15 September 2010, in Cordoba, Spain, the International Seminar on the Role of Agricultural Biodiversity in Addressing Hunger and Climate Change was organized in the framework of the International Year of Biodiversity and in commemoration of World Food Day. Participants heard presentations by senior representatives of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), Bioversity International and the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The Seminar was organized by the Chair of Studies on Hunger and Poverty at the University of Cordoba, Bioversity International, the CBD, FAO, ITPGR, the Government of Spain, and local and provincial authorities. It aimed to: promote awareness raising and dialogue among public institutions, universities, scientists, civil society and the private sector; catalyze action and projects; and contribute to defining priorities and developing policies at all levels. On the occasion of the seminar, CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf highlighted the milestones of the International Year of Biodiversity and underscored the linkages between biodiversity loss and climate change. Drawing attention to the report of the CBD Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Climate Change and Biodiversity, he stated that the relationship between biodiversity and climate change goes both ways: the degradation of many ecosystems is significantly reducing their carbon storage and sequestration capacity, leading to increases in emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), while approximately 10% of species assessed so far have an increasingly high risk of extinction for each degree Celsius rise in global mean surface temperature. Highlighting increasing threats to agricultural biodiversity and the deep connection between biodiversity and human well-being, he added that climate change is destabilizing the global food supply. He also drew attention to the draft post-2010 CBD strategic plan, which addresses both the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and links actions to combat it with efforts to combat and adapt to climate change. [The International Seminar at the University of Cordoba Websi...] [Seminar Programme][CBD Executive Secretary Statement, 13 September 2010][CBD Executive Secretary Statement, 14 September 2010]
Meetings Address Conservation Strategy for the Saiga Antelope

13 September 2010: The second meeting of the signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Saiga Antelope, developed under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), was held from 9-10 September 2010, in Ulanbataar, Mongolia. It was preceded by a technical meeting on the Saiga Antelope, held from 7-8 September 2010. During the meeting, Mongolia signed the memorandum, including the populations of the Mongolian Saiga antelope in the framework of international cooperation on saiga in Central Asia and the Russian Federation. The Saiga antelope is protected both under CMS and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). [UNEP press release]

August 2010

CPF Organizations Discuss Climate Change and Forestry at IUFRO Congress

23 August 2010: On the opening day of the XXIII International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress, held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 23-28 August 2010, the Heads of several member organizations of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) presented in a sub-plenary session on biodiversity, climate change and forestry. Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant-Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), presented on the CPF's objectives and achievements, including the Forest Days at the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the UNFCCC. Bill Jackson, Deputy Director General of IUCN, discussed the landscape approach for linking climate change, forest management and the needs of people. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), highlighted the CBD's global tree-planting initiative, Green Wave. Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), described the ITTO's programme on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), and enhancing environmental services in tropical forests. He called for financial incentives for sustainable forest management (SFM) and functional markets. Tony Simons, Deputy Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), highlighted how far forestry has come in the international development dialogue in recent years. Jan McAlpine, Director of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), underlined that the UNFF values and creates institutional partnerships beyond the forestry sector to enhance cross-sectoral connections. The IUFRO World Congress, co-hosted by IUFRO and the Korea Forest Research Institute, brings together over 2700 participants from international organizations, governments, academia, the private sector and civil society. The opening plenary included a welcome address from the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-Bak. The theme of the Congress is “Forests for the Future, Sustaining Society and the Environment.” [IISD RS Coverage of the IUFRO World Congress] [IUFRO World Congress Website]
UNDP Holds Consultation for Brazil on Biodiversity and Ecosystems

26 August 2010: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) held a national consultation for Brazil in Brasilia, from 23-24 August 2010. The consultation was part of a regional initiative entitled “Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Why these are Important for Sustained Growth and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean” to prepare a report on the role of biodiversity in wealth generation and support of well-being in the region. This was the last in a series of similar consultations. Participants heard plenary presentations on the initiative and the regional report, and broke out into working groups to discuss emblematic policies in Brazil, and identify key sectors for promoting investment in biodiversity and ecosystem services, and any existing barriers to such investments. They also recommended inputs to the regional report on arguments to use, ways to convince decision-makers and dissemination strategies. [IISD RS summary report of the consultation]
ICID 2010 Discusses Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Drylands

23 August 2010: The Second International Conference on Climate, Sustainability and Development in Semi-arid Regions (ICID 2010), which convened in Fortaleza, Brazil, from 16-20 August 2010, brought together participants to discuss climate change and sustainable development in arid and semi-arid regions, and sought to raise the priority of these issues on the agenda of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). ICID 2010 began with the launching of the UN Decade on Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification. The main theme of ICID 2010, “climate, sustainability and development,” was addressed in four sub-themes, namely: climate information; climate and sustainable development; climate governance, representation, rights, equity and justice; and climate policy processes. ICID 2010 concluded with a discussion of the primary conference output, the Fortaleza  Declaration, which was developed with the goal of raising the profile of issues facing semi-arid regions at UNCSD and during its preparatory process. Among other items, the Declaration calls for: better governance of the drylands, representation of their populations and enhanced livelihoods; the enhancement of climate-sensitive sustainable development interventions in drylands; recognition of potential synergies to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience for the poor; the creation of favorable conditions for sustainable development in drylands through integrated actions to fight land degradation, mitigate drought effects, conserve biodiversity and adapt to climate change; and investment opportunities to exploit the comparative advantage of drylands in renewable energy production. [IISD RS Coverage of ICID 2010] [ICID 2010 Website]
New Marine Sites Added to UNESCO's World Heritage List

September 2010: Marine sites in the US and in Kiribati have been added to the World Heritage List of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). During its 34th session, held in Brasilia, Brazil, from 25 July-3 August 2010, the World Heritage Committee added the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the US and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati to the UNESCO World Heritage List. These additions bring the number of marine protected areas on the list to 43. Papahanaumokuakea was inscribed for both its cultural and natural value, while the Phoenix Islands Protected Area was inscribed for its natural value.  In addition, the World Heritage Committee made changes to two of the marine sites of its World Heritage in Danger List, which is designed to highlight threats to the value of listed sites and to encourage corrective action. The Committee removed the Galápagos Islands from the list in recognition of the Ecuadorian Government's efforts to protect the site. The Committee also added the Everglades National Park in the US to the list, as it suffers from diversion of its water to nearby cities. [World Heritage Marine Programme Website] [Report of the 34th Session of the World Heritage Committee]  

July 2010

Resumed Session of ABS 9 Makes Steps towards Finalization of ABS Protocol

16 July 2010: The resumed ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was held from 10-16 July 2010, in Montreal, Canada. The first part of the ninth meeting was held from 22-28 March 2010, in Cali, Colombia, and suspended, with delegates agreeing that the draft protocol text tabled by the Co-Chairs and revised during the session (Cali Annex) was not negotiated. On the basis of the Cali Annex, delegates in Montreal conducted two readings of the text to isolate and resolve outstanding issues and reach consensus on language, with the aim of finalizing the protocol text in time for its possible adoption at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10), to be held from 18-29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. Delegates made a number of important steps towards meeting their mandate, including approving a substantive outcome in the form of a draft ABS protocol, which is no longer a Co-Chairs' text but rather a text negotiated by parties. At the same time, delegates showed their commitment to finalizing the protocol by working intensely and in good spirits through day and night sessions. They made progress in reaching agreement on certain difficult issues, including the relationship with other instruments and compliance with domestic ABS requirements. They also identified the key issues that require further compromises, including scope and the issue of pathogens, derivatives and the concept of utilization of genetic resources, and mechanisms to support compliance. Several sets of brackets remain and, as a result, the Working Group decided to hold another meeting before COP 10, possibly in September 2010. [IISD RS coverage of resumed ABS 9] [Earth Negotiations Bulletin archives of biodiversity meeting...]
GEF Council Approves Major Reforms in New Funding Cycle

2 July 2010: The 38th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council took place in Washington DC, US, from 29 June-1 July 2010, and approved major reforms aimed at helping developing countries to meet international environmental challenges, including those related to climate change and biodiversity. During the meeting the Council approved major reforms designed to give developing countries and stakeholders more control and access to funds, including: direct access to GEF resources for recipient countries looking to meet various UN convention requirements; streamlined GEF project cycle and a move to a more refined and strategic programmatic investment approach; reformed GEF's Country Support Program with$26 million in funding. The Council also agreed to initiate a process to determine how best to integrate new agencies, including qualified national entities, into the GEF network. In May 2010, during the sixth meeting of donors for the Fifth GEF Replenishment, held in Paris, France, over 30 countries pledged US$4.34 billion to fund projects with global environmental benefits during the next four years. The meeting of donors also agreed to channel US$1.3 billion to the climate change focal area. The financial pledges included some of the Fast Start Financing discussed at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Commenting on the reforms, Monique Barbut, GEF CEO and Chairperson, stated that "the GEF Council has accorded long overdue recognition to the ability of countries to take the lead in the efficient and effective programming of their multilateral assistance." [38th GEF Council Meeting Website] [Climate Change Policy & Practice Story on the GEF Replen...] [Joint Summary of the Chairs]

June 2010

62nd IWC Meeting Postpones Decision on Lifting Moratorium

The 62nd Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) took place in Agadir, Morocco, from 21-25 June 2010, and focused its discussions on the future of the Commission. The IWC Chair had drafted a compromise that would suspend the whaling ban. It would legitimize commercial hunting in exchange for a drop in the number of whales actually killed by those claiming exemptions to the ban, namely Japan, Norway and Iceland. On the last day of the meeting, the Commission agreed that while it was very close to agreement on a number of issues within the proposed consensus decision, there remain major issues upon which more work is required, including such matters as the question of the moratorium, numbers of whales that might be taken, special permit whaling, indigenous whaling, sanctuaries and trade. The IWC also received the report of the Scientific Committee on the status of whale stocks, paid special attention to the status of the endangered western North Pacific gray whale, and received reports from a number of countries on animal welfare issues related to whales and whaling. [IWC press release, 23 June 2010]
AMCEN 13 Focuses on Rio Conventions, Prepares for Cancun

25 June 2010: The 13th Session of the African Ministers' Conference on Environment (AMCEN) took place in Bamako, Mali, from 20-25 June 2010, under the theme “Enhancing the interrelationship between climate change, biodiversity and desertification for sustainable development.” The meeting concluded with the adoption of the Bamako Declaration, which was developed to serve as the continent's new road map for sustainable development and basis for strengthening the common negotiating position on climate change and biological diversity.  The session aimed to provide a platform for environment ministers to deliberate on substantive issues of importance to Africa, including ongoing negotiations on climate change and biodiversity. A ministerial dialogue reviewed progress towards: Africa's development of a common negotiating position on a comprehensive international climate change regime beyond 2012; the development of a comprehensive framework of African climate change programmes; and Africa's preparations for developing a common negotiating position on the international regime on access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources (ABS). The Ministerial segment on climate change discussed: the outcomes of the meetings of the Conference of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 11 May 2010, and in Bamako, Mali, on 23 June 2010; and the salient aspects of the comprehensive framework of African climate change programmes, including opportunities presented by climate change responses, in addition to the institutional arrangements in Africa for managing and using climate funding provided by the international community. The ministerial dialogue on desertification focused on the links between desertification, land degradation and climate change, particularly on efforts needed to combat climate change in Africa taking into account measures for sustainable land and water management. At the opening of the session, Buyelwa Sonjica, South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, stressed that the AMCEN 13 theme presents a useful approach to expanding the strategic focus of AMCEN to include "other important environmental issues facing the continent - in addition and in relation to the challenges posed by climate change." Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AUC), stressed that climate change is a developmental emergency for Africa and urged contextualizing the next round of global climate change negotiations into the development agenda. She underscored that the AUC, in partnership with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Agency and the EU, is currently engaged in discussions to ensure that agriculture is taken forward in the climate change negotiations. She stressed that Africa does not need to compromise its economic growth due to mitigation efforts, but rather should push for access to affordable technology for a green economy. She reported that the 23rd June CAHOSCC meeting deliberated on how best to organize the coordinating structure of CAHOSCC at ministers and experts levels, and that their recommendations will be considered by the Heads of State and Government during the July Summit in Kampala, Uganda. She also noted an initiative by the UN Secretary-General to set up a High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, to ensure the interconnectivity between food security, climate change, access to water and energy among others, in which Africa will be represented. AMCEN 13 was preceded by the third meeting of African high-level expert panel on climate change, held on 20 June 2010, which discussed: a draft AMCEN climate change communication strategy; a draft comprehensive framework of African climate change programmes; climate change, clean technology and green growth opportunities; air pollution abatement in relation to other environmentally-friendly initiatives: the case of sustainable transport in Africa; carbon market, innovation and Arabic gum; and the status of the international climate change negotiations. The UN Environment Progarmme (UNEP) Regional Office for Africa serves as the Secretariat to AMCEN. [AMCEN 13 Website] [Sonjica's Speech] [Tumusiime's Speech]
UNFCCC Holds Technical Workshop on Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Options

24 June 2010: The UNFCCC Secretariat organized a technical workshop on costs and benefits of adaptation options from 22-24 June 2010, in Madrid, Spain. The workshop involved approximately 70 representatives from parties, relevant organizations, communities and experts with a view to facilitating the identification of appropriate adaptation practices and measures, and avoiding maladaptation. During the workshop, participants addressed methodological issues, including those related to the assessments of costs and benefits. On the second day, three break-out groups considered assessments of costs and benefits in the following sectors: agriculture and ecosystems/biodiversity; water resources and health; and coastal zones, settlements and infrastructure. The event concluded with a discussion on follow up activities to be undertaken by parties and/or organizations to advance assessments of costs and benefits. In her closing statement, Workshop Chair Paz Valiente, Deputy Director General of Impacts and Adaptation, Spanish Office of Climate Change, Spanish Ministry of Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs, underlined the complexity of the issue and the need for more methodological work. She noted repeated calls for: taking account of ecosystem services; ensuring that assessment processes do not lead to discounting their importance and role; capacity building on the different tools available and the appropriateness of their use in different contexts; and sharing and disseminating experience to advance understanding of these issues. [IISD RS Sources] [Workshop Website]
17th Katoomba Meeting Discusses Payments for Ecosystem Services

24 June  2010: The Katoomba Group, an international network of individuals working to promote and improve capacity related to markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES), held its 17th meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam, from 23-24 June 2010. The meeting was co-hosted by several organizations, including two centers of the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR): the Center for International Forestry Research and the World Agroforestry Center. Participants discussed carbon financing and systems for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), focusing on Southeast Asia. On carbon financing, participants focused on: national-level REDD systems; international, regional and national experiences; engagement of stakeholders, including investors; pilot demonstration sites; and training, capacity building and research agendas. On forest carbon and REDD architecture, presentations and discussions highlighted: work and experiences in Papua New Guinea, Viet Nam and Indonesia; a comparative analysis of policy implementation and approaches across Southeast Asia; the design of national REDD programmes from the bottom up;  public-private partnerships; and the state of emerging environmental markets. Tim Boyle, Asia Pacific regional coordinator for the UN-REDD Programme, presented on UN-REDD's activities with partner countries in the region. Participants also discussed schemes for payments for watershed and marine ecosystem services, and biodiversity markets and market-like structures like biodiversity banking. [2010 Katoomba Meeting XVII]
World Day to Combat Desertification Celebrated

17 June 2010: In statements marking World Day to Combat Desertification, celebrated annually on 17 June, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja have called attention to the interlinkages between soil, biodiversity and climate change. In his statement, the Secretary-General notes that the " human, environmental and social vulnerability come together with unusual force and symmetry in the world's drylands.  Climate change will only exacerbate such pressures." He further suggests that, in this International Year of Biodiversity, "we must remember that drylands are areas of enormous biological diversity and productivity. Thirty per cent of the crops that are cultivated and consumed in every corner of the world originate in drylands. The biodiversity of dryland soil also plays a critical role in transforming atmospheric carbon into organic carbon – the Earth's largest pool of organic carbon." Executive Secretary Gnacadja's statement highlights that “Enhancing soils anywhere enhances life everywhere” is this year's motto for World Day to Combat Desertification, and states that the theme "places soil health where it needs to be: at the very foundation of our survival and well-being." [UN Secretary-General Ban's Statement] [Executive Secretary Gnacadja's Statement]
IPBES Meeting Recommends Establishment of Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

11 June 2010: The third Ad Hoc Intergovernmental and Multi-stakeholder Meeting on an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES III) met from 7-11 June 2010, in Busan, Republic of Korea. Delegates discussed whether to establish an IPBES and negotiated text on considerations for its function, guiding principles and recommendations. The meeting adopted the Busan Outcome, recommending the establishment of an IPBES that would collaborate with existing initiatives on biodiversity and ecosystem services and be scientifically independent. The meeting also recommended that: the UN General Assembly be invited to consider the conclusions of the meeting and take appropriate action for the establishment of an IPBES; and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council should invite UNEP, in cooperation with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN Development Programme (UNDP), to continue facilitating any ensuing process of implementing the IPBES until a secretariat is established. [IISD RS coverage of the meeting] [IISD RS coverage of previous IMoSEB process]
Conference on Biological and Cultural Diversity Develops Elements for Programme of Work

10 June 2010: The "International Conference on Biological and Cultural Diversity: Diversity for Development – Development for Diversity" convened from 8-10 June 2010, in Montreal, Canada. Held jointly with the 16th International Economic Forum of the Americas/Conference of Montreal, it was organized in partnership with the CBD Secretariat, UNESCO, UNEP and the University of Montreal. Bringing together civil society, indigenous and local community representatives, policy makers, scientists and intergovernmental and development cooperation agencies, the conference aimed to exchange knowledge and practices linking biological and cultural diversity. Among its outcomes, the conference adopted elements for a programme of work to be jointly implemented by UNESCO, the CBD Secretariat and other partners, on the links between biological and cultural diversity. [CBD press release, 11 June 2010] [Conference website] [Meeting documents]
World Oceans Day Celebrated

8 June 2010: World Oceans Day, which is celebrated on 8 June, focused on the theme “Our oceans: opportunities and challenges” in 2010. In a message to mark the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted that ocean ecosystems are facing multiple challenges, including exposure to land and marine based pollution, habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, unsustainable harvests and the introduction of invasive species. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) noted that coastal ecosystem services, which are often overlooked, are valued at around US$25,000 billion per year through areas like food production, storm and flood regulatory services, climate change mitigation and carbon sequestration. Also on World Oceans Day, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the celebrations of its 50th anniversary. The celebrations provided an opportunity for IOC to take stock of its work in improving understanding of the seas and oceans, and their climate regulating role. In a message for the anniversary, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova underlined the role played by IOC in addressing some of the major global challenges, including: identifying and protecting marine biodiversity; monitoring global climate change; and coordinating tsunami warning systems. [World Oceans Day website] [UNEP press release, 8 June 2010] [UN Secretary-General's speech] [UNESCO press release, 8 June 2010]
Thirteen Sites Added to UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves

4 June 2010: The 22nd session of the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, which convened from 31 May-4 June 2010, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, added 13 new sites and five extensions in 15 different countries to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The Network now numbers 564 sites in 109 countries. Ethiopia and Zimbabwe inscribed reserves to the network for the first time. Biosphere reserves are areas designated to serve as places to test different approaches to integrated management of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine resources and biodiversity. [UNESCO press release, 2 June 2010]

May 2010

Fifth GEF Replenishment Negotiations Conclude

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) finalized its Fifth Replenishment negotiations, with over 30 countries pledging US$4.25 billion to fund projects with global environmental benefits during the next four years. The sixth meeting of donors for the Fifth GEF Replenishment, held in Paris, France, on 12 May 2010, also agreed to channel US$1.3 billion to the climate change focal area. The financial pledges also include some of the Fast Start Financing discussed at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and will feature the creation of a Sustainable Forest Management-REDD Plus (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) initiative. Some of the main areas of work for the GEF during the four-year period starting July 2010 will be to: lower carbon dioxide emissions; expand sustainable management of protected areas and critical landscapes; strengthen multi-State cooperation on transboundary water systems management; reduce persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in land and water; reduce mercury emissions; and expand and protect the Earth's forest cover. Links to further information GEF press release, 12 May 2010 Documents for the Sixth Meeting of the GEF-5 replenishment

April 2010

Caribbean Consultation Considers Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Wealth Generation

A consultation for Caribbean nations was held from 26-27 April 2010, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The event was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) as part of a regional initiative entitled, “Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Why these are Important for Sustained Growth and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The initiative aims to prepare a report on the role of biodiversity in wealth generation and support of wellbeing in the region. The seventh in a series of consultations, the Caribbean consultation discussed emblematic policies in Caribbean nations, and identified key sectors for promoting investment in biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as existing barriers to such investments. Participants also discussed insights from case studies from Paraguay and Indonesia, and recommended inputs to the regional report, ways to convince decision makers and dissemination strategies. In the final plenary, participants recommended key messages and ways to enrich the regional initiative. Link to further information IISD RS coverage of the meeting

March 2010

UNEP Convenes Meeting on Existing Environmental Goals and Objectives

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) convened the Existing Internationally Agreed Environmental Goals and Objectives meeting from 29-31 March in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was attended by over 80 governments who considered the preparation of a compilation of internationally agreed environmental goals and objectives, which includes thematic areas on: air pollution and air quality; biodiversity; chemicals and waste; climate change; energy; environmental governance; forests; freshwater; oceans and seas; and soil, land use, land degradation and desertification (IISD RS sources).
Global Conference on Agriculture Research for Development Discusses Investment Needs

The first Global Conference on Agriculture Research for Development (GCARD), which convened in Montpelier, France, from 29-31 March 2010, examined the need for investment in agricultural research and the roles that can be played by various institutions to increase the impact of new knowledge among the poor. The event produced a non-binding “Montpelier Roadmap” for how to tailor agricultural research to the needs of the rural poor. It highlights the need for implementation of regional priorities, identified through regional consultations, and suggests that characteristics of a well-functioning agricultural research for development system include mutual and equal accountability among all stakeholders and strengthened relationships among those involved with research, development and farming. The document will be further refined in the coming months. GCARD was organized by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), in collaboration with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It will be a biennial meeting that will replace the triennial GFAR meetings and the annual general meetings of the CGIAR. At the event, CGIAR introduced its proposed large-scale collective-action programmes through eight thematic areas: climate change and agriculture; agricultural systems for the poor and vulnerable; enabling agricultural incomes for the poor; optimizing productivity of global food security crops; agriculture nutrition and health; water, soils and ecosystems; forests and trees; and agricultural biodiversity. Link to further information Meeting website
ABS Working Group Suspends Session, Forwards Co-Chairs' Draft Protocol to Resumed Session as Non-Negotiated Document

The ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened from 22-28 March 2010, in Santiago de Cali, Colombia. The meeting continued negotiations on an international regime on ABS, in view of its mandate to submit an instrument for consideration at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10). For the first time in the process, negotiations were conducted on the basis of a draft protocol, tabled as a Co-Chair's text and developed upon a request made during the Co-Chairs' Informal Inter-regional Consultation held prior to ABS 9. Following three days of productive contact group discussions and significant progress achieved on a number of issues, including benefit-sharing from derivatives and an internationally recognized certificate of compliance, an inter-regional group was established. Due to procedural wrangling, the inter-regional group did not manage to enter into text-based negotiations. The Working Group eventually agreed to: suspend ABS 9 and convene a resumed session in June/July 2010; and forward the draft protocol text as revised in Cali to the resumed session, with the understanding that the draft was not negotiated, is without prejudice to the rights of parties to make further amendments and additions to the text, and should be read together with the ABS 9 report reflecting parties' views expressed at the meeting. Link to further information IISD RS coverage of the meeting
CITES COP 15 Debates Bluefin Tuna, Sharks and Ivory, Lists Plant Species

The 15th Conference of the Parties (CoP15) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 13-25 March 2010, in Doha, Qatar. Drawing together some 1,500 participants, the meeting considered 68 agenda items and 42 proposals to amend the CITES appendices. Parties rejected proposals to list bluefin tuna, shark species, polar bears and corals, with their arguments focusing on scientific, economic and livelihood considerations and, most notably, CITES jurisdiction vis-à-vis Regional Fisheries Management Organizations. The meeting decided to list Kaiser's spotted newt, five species of tree frogs, the unicorn beetle, rosewood, holywood and several Madagascar plant species, among others. Tanzania's proposal to transfer its elephant population from Appendix I to Appendix II for specific purposes, and Zambia's proposal to transfer its population to Appendix II for the exclusive purpose of allowing trade in hunting trophies, raw hides and live animals under conditions set forth in the proposal were rejected. Beyond these debates, delegates seemed pleased with progress on numerous implementation and enforcement efforts, including source codes, permits and certification, and electronic permitting, as well as the protection of a number of new plant and animal species. Link to further information IISD RS coverage of the meeting
Governments Adopt Declaration to Protect Wadden Sea

A Ministerial Council Declaration on the protection of the Wadden Sea was adopted on 18 March 2010, at the 11th Trilateral Ministerial Conference in Westerland, Island of Sylt, Germany. The participating Governments of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have identified activities to protect the Wadden Sea ecosystem, which hosts 10,000 different species and is an important stop-over site for up to 12 million migratory waterbirds every year. Such activities include: the development and implementation of plans, policies and projects to maintain and enhance the natural values, landscape and cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea; coordinated and consistent management, including the production and implementation of a periodically updated Wadden Sea Plan; and applying the concept of Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Links to further information CMS press release, 18 March 2010 The Ministerial Declaration
Avian Influenza and Wild Birds Task Force Reviews Achievements, Assesses Future Priorities

Convened by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the third meeting of the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds was held from 15-16 March 2010, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. The meeting reviewed what has been achieved in addressing the spread of avian influenza, and determined the future role and direction of the Task Force. Focus was set on current activity related to avian influenza surveillance, including most recent research related to epidemiology, known direct and indirect impacts on the conservation of waterbirds and wetlands, and most recent developments with respect to national contingency planning and response strategies. Participants agreed on the following issues to be further developed in the future: standardization of reporting and sampling methodologies to current best science-based practices; use of the flyway approach for continued and broader surveillance of wild bird populations, along with better understanding of migration routes, habitat use, and movements; strengthening of capacity for outbreak investigations that evaluates the source of virus introduction; and reduction of indiscriminate blame of wild birds for poultry outbreaks, in the absence of proper evidence. Established in 2005 to create a liaison mechanism between those international organizations and multilateral environment agreements engaged in activities related to avian influenza, the Task Force comprises representatives and observers from 14 international organizations. Link to further information CMS press release, 24 March 2010

February 2010

UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL SPECIAL SESSION CONCLUDES WITH NUSA DUA DECLARATION

The eleventh Special Session of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS-11/GMEF) convened from 24-26 February 2010, in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting considered the theme of “environment in the multilateral system.” During the meeting, Ministers agreed to the Nusa Dua Declaration, which underscores the importance of biodiversity, the urgent need to combat climate change and work towards a good outcome in Mexico in November-December 2010, and the key opportunities from accelerating a transition to a low-carbon resource-efficient green economy. The statement also highlights the need to improve the overall management of the global environment, accepting that that the “governance architecture” has become complex and fragmented. Delegates at the GCSS-11/GMEF also adopted eight decisions on: international environmental governance; enhanced coordination across the UN, including the Environmental Management Group; a follow-up report on the environmental situation in the Gaza strip; the intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services; strengthening the environmental response in Haiti; oceans; the consultative process on financing options for chemicals and wastes; and guidelines on environmental law. The Sasakawa Prize, which aims to incentivize sustainable and replicable grassroots environmental efforts, was awarded during a side event at the GCSS-11/GMEF. Two grassroots climate-projects operating in Africa and South America were awarded the prestigious UNEP award. Links to further information UNEP GCSS website Sasakawa prize website IISD RS coverage of the meeting
Progress Achieved on Liability Negotiations under the Biosafety Protocol

12 February 2010: The second meeting of the Friends of the Co-Chairs on Liability and Redress under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety convened from 8-12 February 2010, in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The meeting attempted to conclude negotiations on international rules and procedures in the field of liability and redress for damage resulting from transboundary movements of living modified organisms (LMOs), including: a supplementary protocol on liability and redress; guidelines on civil liability; the supplementary compensation scheme; and complementary capacity-building measures. The meeting did not conclude the negotiation of a supplementary protocol, however it achieved significant progress on several of the most contentious issues, including the elaboration of a legally-binding provision on civil liability. A number of issues remain outstanding, including the definitions of “operator,” “products” of LMOs and “imminent threat of damage,” the objective, and the issue of financial security. As a result, delegates decided to convene a third meeting of the Friends of the Co-Chairs in June 2010, in order to resolve all outstanding issues so the supplementary protocol can be adopted at the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP5) to the Biosafety Protocol, to be held in October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. [IISD RS coverage of the meeting]
NEW MOU ON SHARKS AGREED UNDER THE CMS

The third meeting on International Cooperation on Migratory Sharks under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) convened from 10-12 February 2010, in Manila, the Philippines. It was preceded by the Technical Meeting for the Elaboration of a Conservation and Management Plan for Migratory Sharks, held from 8-9 February. The meetings resulted in finalizing a non-legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on migratory sharks and a clear procedure for completing work on the conservation plan. Delegates agreed to include all seven shark species in the CMS appendices under the new agreement: the Great White, Basking, Whale, Porbeagle, Spiny Dogfish, Shortfin and Longfin Mako Sharks. Ten delegations signed the MoU during the meeting, thus allowing the MoU to commence on 1 March 2010. Links to further information IISD RS coverage of the meeting CMS press release, 12 February 2010
TRONDHEIM CONFERENCE ADDRESSES POST-2010 BIODIVERSITY TARGETS

The Sixth Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity was held from 1-5 February 2010, in Trondheim, Norway. Participants discussed the status of, and lessons learned from, the 2010 target to reduce significantly the current rate of biodiversity loss, and challenges for setting post-2010 targets. Other issues addressed included the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into societal decisions. The Conference produced a Chair's Report, which will be forwarded as an information document to the upcoming 14th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the third meeting of the CBD Working Group on Review of Implementation, to be held in May 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Report outlines 12 messages, including on biodiversity loss and human well-being, biodiversity targets, and the need for implementation, communication, resources, and science and knowledge. Link to further information IISD RS coverage of the conference
MARINE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY WORKING GROUP FORWARDS RECOMMENDATIONS TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The third meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction convened from 1-5 February 2010, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The meeting examined the scientific, technical, economic, legal, environmental, socioeconomic and other aspects of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, including activities of the UN and other relevant international organizations. Participants discussed possible options and approaches to promote international cooperation and coordination for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, as well as key issues and questions for more detailed background studies. For the first time, the Working Group was mandated to provide recommendations to the General Assembly. In accordance with General Assembly Resolution 64/71 of 4 December 2009, the third meeting was mandated in particular to continue discussions of the legal regime on marine genetic resources, as well as marine protected areas and environmental impact assessment processes in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Delegates eventually agreed by consensus to a package of recommendations to the General Assembly, with one of the recommendations calling for reconvening the Working Group in 2011. Links to further information IISD RS coverage of the meeting Meeting website

January 2010

ASIAN COUNTRIES REINFORCE TIGER CONSERVATION

The first “ASIA Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation: Enforcement, Trade, Landscapes and Financing,” was held from 27-30 January 2010, in Hua Hin, Thailand. The conference gathered representatives from tiger range States, including 12 Asian countries and Russia. According to reports, the meeting adopted a declaration including a target to double the number of tigers by 2022, as well as measures to protect core tiger habitats, buffer zones and corridors, reduce poaching through improved law enforcement, and minimize human-tiger conflicts through job creation programmes. The declaration will be considered for approval by Heads of State at a meeting to be held in September 2010, in Vladivostok, Russia. Links to further information Conference website New York Times, 29 January 2010
ABS FRIENDS OF THE CO-CHAIRS MEETING WORKS ON KEY ISSUES FOR THE NEGOTIATIONS

The Friends of the Co-Chairs meeting on access and benefit-sharing (ABS), organized in the framework of the negotiations for an international regime on ABS, was held from 26-29 January 2010, in Montreal, Canada. Working in a positive atmosphere, participants addressed: several issues related to access, benefit-sharing, and compliance, and the relationship between the three items; derivatives; traditional knowledge; and implementation questions. Links to further information The meeting website Paper on selected key issues submitted by the Co-Chairs
UNESCO BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE POLICY CONFERENCE IDENTIFIES PRIORITIES FOR ACTION

Organized in the framework of the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), the UNESCO Biodiversity Science Policy Conference was held from 25-29 January 2010, at UNESCO headquarters, in Paris, France, immediately following the high-level launch of IYB in Paris from 21-22 January 2010. The conference gave special attention to the voice of the scientific community so as to highlight new knowledge that could be used in the context of biodiversity-related decisions. The conference adopted a statement and recommendations, including priorities for and modalities of action on: taxonomy; conservation biogeography; the role of indigenous and local knowledge in biodiversity conservation; biodiversity and gender; priority-setting in conservation; managing biodiversity at the landscape scale; biodiversity and development; and communication, education and public awareness. Links to further information The conference website The statement and recommendations
EUROPEAN CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON PROTECTED AREAS AND POST-2010 TARGETS

Held from 26-27 January 2010, in Madrid, Spain, the European Conference “Post-2010 Biodiversity Vision and Target – the role of protected areas and ecological networks in Europe” was organized by the Spanish Presidency of the EU. The conference aimed to highlight the importance of protected areas for conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, examined implementation of the CBD programme of work on protected areas in Europe and conducted a discussion on post-2010 biodiversity targets at the EU level on the basis of the European Commission proposals on a post-2010 biodiversity vision and target. The event also served to launch the International Year of Biodiversity at the European level. The outcome of the conference is the “‘Cibeles' Priorities: stopping biodiversity loss in Europe,” outlining Spain's priorities. The document calls for, among others, a target for Europe to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services, and to restore them significantly by 2020. Links to further information The conference website The Cibeles Priorities