UN COPs a hold of Biodiversity

UN COPs a hold of Biodiversity

the protocol will come into effect in 2020

Environment ministers from almost 200 nations agreed last week to adopt a new United Nations strategy in a bid to halt the worst loss of life on earth since the destruction of the dinosaurs. It is hoped that the strategy will halve the loss of natural habitats and expand nature reserves to 17% of the world’s land area by 2020.

There was also something else to cheer about, as the UN’s COP10 biodiversity conference adopted a new treaty, the Nagoya Protocol, to manage the world’s genetic resources and share the multibillion-dollar benefits with developing nations and indigenous communities. “This is a day to celebrate in terms of a new and innovative response to the alarming loss of biodiversity and ecosystems,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme.

The result? A halt in over-fishing, control invasive species, reduce pollution, minimise the pressure on coral reefs from ocean acidification, and halt the loss of genetic diversity in agricultural ecosystems. Fish and other aquatic life will also be provided with greater refuge. There will be access and sharing of the benefits of genetic resources — including plants, fungi and pathogens.

The protocol will come into effect in 2020, and governments have agreed to draw up a funding plan, with sums, baselines and other details, by 2012. As Typhoons lash around Asia we can only wait to see whether or not these plans will be blown away. In any case, the sun will always and forever shine. Biodiversity Rocks!

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