EU, Canada ‘Dodos of the Week’

by Eric Johnston

Japanese and international nongovernment organizations participating in the COP10 conference on biodiversity presented a dodo bird award to the delegates they say are leading the world to extinction by blocking progress on new agreements to protect biodiversity loss.

The European Union and Canada were named the “Dodos of the Week” by the CBD Alliance, the umbrella group for NGOs at COP10, during a ceremony on Monday afternoon.

Canada has consistently opposed language in a proposed access and benefit-sharing agreement on genetic resources that would strengthen the rights of indigenous peoples.

The EU was for its stance on biofuel promotion and because it has not lived up to its commitments to help developing countries cope with biodiversity loss, the CBD Alliance said.

“In English, we often use the expression ‘dead as a dodo’ or ‘going the way of the dodo’ to refer to something that is no more,” said Henry Jonas of Natural Justice, an NGO in the CBD Alliance.

The dodo bird, which once lived on the island of Mauritius, was hunted to extinction in the late 1600s, and the CBD Alliance worries that countries preventing a strong agreements from being reached at COP10 will result in driving many species to extinction.