Biodiversity COP Concludes with Discussions on Linkages Between Poverty Eradication and the Use of Genetic Resources
Meeting in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP12) of the Convention on Biological Diversity concluded its discussions last week. During these last days, the High-Level Segment convened to discuss draft decisions on biodiversity and sustainable development, gender mainstreaming, improving efficiency, the multi-year work programme under the COP, capacity building, the relationship between biodiversity and climate change and the implementation of nature-based solutions to global challenges. The convention also held the first session of the Meeting of the Parties of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing.
At the High-Level Segment, countries and other international organizations highlighted the connection between the protection of biodiversity and poverty eradication strategies. Senior United Nations officials called member states to put into work integrated approaches to development that incorporate conservation and other environmental issues. “Maintaining biodiversity is related not only to direct conservation measures, but also to pursuing poverty reduction and human development in ways which are sustainable” said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The High-Level Segment also discusses the pivotal role of biodiversity protection for the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) being defined by the UN General Assembly. The current proposal for the SDGs includes two goals for biodiversity: one of oceans and one for terrestrial ecosystems. It also proposes the inclusion of biodiversity in other targets and goals associated to food security and poverty eradication.
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the CBD, stressed the importance of bringing biodiversity to the public discourse to achieve progress towards sustainable development. “We have to promote the understanding that biodiversity underpins sustainable development for economic and social well-being,” Mr. Dias said. He emphasized how the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity should be seen as an agenda for sustainable development, bringing biodiversity to different economic and social sectors and activities, since it provides not only goods and services but also resilience and the ability to respond to global changes and natural disasters.
The COP also held the first Meeting of the Parties for the Nagoya Protocol. During its plenary, countries discussed multiple issues associated to the implementation of the protocol, its operational and institutional mechanisms and the guidance for compliance and resource mobilization.
The Nagoya Protocol was adopted in 2010 to prevent the misappropriation of genetic resources, and to ensure fair and equitable benefit sharing with the holders of the resources. On July 2014 the Convention announce that the protocol was ready to enter into force since more than 50 parties have deposited their instruments of ratification.
COP12 concluded on October 17th with the adoption of the “PyeongChang Roadmap” in relation to biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the “Gangwon Declaration” to summarize the results of the conference.