Governments meet to assess progress in implementing global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity

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Governments meet to assess progress in implementing global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity

PRESS RELEASE – Under the theme, “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” thousands of representatives of governments, NGOs, indigenous peoples, scientists and the private sector including a representative from St. Lucia Mr. Terrence Gillard of the Ministry of Sustainable Development & Environment gathered in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea for the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity(COP 12)

Between 6 and 17 October 2014, Parties will agree on steps to accelerate the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which are to be achieved by the end of this, the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.  The results of Global Biodiversity Outlook 4, the flagship assessment report of the CBD will inform the discussions.

The collection of decisions to be taken at COP 12 is already being referred to as the “Pyeongchang Road Map” and is expected to include a resource mobilization strategy expected to substantially increase the resources available for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

The two week-long meeting of the COP will also see substantial discussions on issues related to the biodiversity of the oceans of the world.  This will include:

–              Results of seven regional workshops to facilitate the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs);

–              A new set of priority actions to achieve Aichi Biodiversity Target 10 for coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems, which provides guidance to Parties in taking actions to minimize pressures on coral reefs and associated vulnerable ecosystems;

–              A new CBD Technical Series report presenting a major global synthesis of knowledge on the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity;

–              Results of an expert workshop on underwater noise, which provides guidance to Parties in implementing measures to minimize the significant adverse impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine biodiversity;

Capacity building, including activities conducted in the framework of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) which will be further highlighted at a high-level meeting to be held during COP 12

At the opening Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, United Nations Assistant-SecretaryGeneral and Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said “the decisions forming the Pyeongchang Roadmap are expected to provide for further tools and guidance, where necessary, to assist the further implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and achievement of its Aichi Biodiversity Targets as well as for further capacitybuilding, enhancement of technical and scientific cooperation and other initiatives and measures regarding resource mobilization and the financial mechanism.”

Yoon Seong-kyu, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Korea said: “Korea will propose and pursue ‘Bio Bridge Initiative’ to promote scientific and technological cooperation as a main method to smoothly draw and put forward the PyeongChang Roadmap.  The Bio Bridge Initiative will serve as a platform to link developing countries’ demand for science and technology to developed countries’ excellent scientific technology, enhancing cooperation in the international community for the achievement of the CBD targets.”

Other topics for which decisions are expected include climate change and biodiversity, ecosystem conservation and restoration, synthetic biology, the Clearinghouse Mechanism (CHM) and others.

The discussions by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity also takes place in the context of negotiations of proposed Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda, currently underway at the United Nations.

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