18 October 2010

BIODIVERSITY: Convention on Biological Diversity – Nagoya, Japan 18-29 October

The 193 signatory nations to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be meeting in Nagoya, Japan from 18-29 October after pledging eight years ago to cut species loss “significantly” by this year. With studies showing that global diversity is reaching crisis point, conservation leaders are hoping this meeting will give the green light to a new set of international agreements to help protect biodiversity.

Lack of money for conservation projects is a key reason why governments have failed to meet their 2010 targets. Several proposals for mustering funds are up for discussion this week.

Agreement on the general ambitions looks likely, but large international rifts over conservation funding and access to the genetic resources of ecologically rich nations are threatening to derail the negotiations over how to achieve them. One fundraising mechanism gaining support is the phasing out of subsidies that are harmful to biodiversity.

But there is likely to be tense debate on a proposed legally binding agreement to tighten rules for access to nations' genetic resources, such as plants that potentially produce pharmaceuticals. Developing countries want the rules to cover products that have been generated in the past, but companies and developed countries say that only products worked on after the regulations are legally implemented should be affected.

Djoghlaf (executive secretary of CBD) is optimistic that countries will agree to a set of core principles, and then set a timetable for hammering out the finer details by 2012. "I can't imagine closing the meeting without agreement on the access and benefit sharing scheme," he says.

Notes from http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101011/full/467764a.html

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