NGOs urge biodiversity parties for ambitious plan

by Setsuko Kamiya

Domestic nongovernmental organizations on Tuesday urged parties participating in the three-day high-level Convention on Biological Diversity beginning Wednesday to adopt ambitious targets in the new strategic plan for beyond 2011.

Speaking at a news conference, Japan Civil Network for Convention on Biological Diversity said the COP10 parties must adopt a resolution to make the next 10 years the “United Nations Decade of Biodiversity” to strengthen the effort to stop biodiversity loss.

“The (Convention on Biological Diversity) is important, but we believe a bigger framework is necessary” to include more people and organizations of various sectors to participate in the effort to stop the declining number of species, said Minoru Kashiwagi of JCN-CBD.

The previous strategic plan leading to 2010 failed to stop the loss of biodiversity because there was a lack of global consensus, especially because the United States is not a CBD party, Kashiwagi said. “We believe the new strategic plan should be pushed forward under the efforts involving the U.N.,” he said.

The network also said it will push the parties to declare in the new strategic plan that the international community have biodiversity at the center of its global and domestic activities, and vow to cooperate to address the funding issues.

Participating parties will also be pushed to integrate biodiversity into their domestic legal systems while implementing a multisectoral policy for biodiversity.

“We agree that the new strategic plan should be an ambitious plan, that it should be visionary and take us to a new level of sustainability,” said Lina Barrena of Conservation International, who is supporting JCN-CBD’s campaign and took part in the news conference.

She added that her group is pushing for the strategic plan to call for conserving 25 percent of protected land areas and 15 percent of sea areas.

JCN-CBD is a network of NGOs participating together in the negotiation process at COP10.