News - November 2, 2010

Tuesday, 2 november: A crazy day


Wageningen scientist Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers is in Nagoya to attend the Convention on Biological Diversity. She keeps a diary for Resource.

I am sorry you have not heard from me in a few days. I was traveling back to the Netherlands over the weekend. So I am back in Wageningen again, and of course want to give you the latest on the outcomes of the CBD COP 10 in Nagoya.
I have to tell you that the final day in Nagoya was crazy. The Ministers took the whole day to negotiate the final results. We waited all day for the last plenary session to begin, where the final official decisions had to be taken. The plenary finally started at around 21.30... It was a long day of waiting, which also provided opportunities to talk to people, for which there had been less time earlier during the conference.
I have to say that there was a general feeling of huge relief when it became clear that the Ministers had agreed on all major issues: the ABS protocol, the new biodiversity targets for 2020, and plans to develop financing for the implementation of these new policies. On paper, these policies look pretty good. I think all countries had to compromise, but in general we should be happy with the outcomes.
Bottle neck
Bottle neck is of course the implementation. Major parts of the ABS protocol will have to be further developed at the national level. The quality of this national interpretation can of course influence the effectiveness of the protocol. The question is also to what extent the different countries are willing to implement the 2020 targets. Some of the targets, like increasing the number of protected areas, can be achieved without major changes in our ways of living. Several other targets, however, will require a real change towards sustainable development. Having heard the deliberations in Nagoya, I honestly wonder whether countries are ready for this type of commitment. I hope that we can avoid a COP 15 in 2020 in which we will have to conclude that we did not reach the 2020 targets, and new targets are developed for 2030....
To leave you on a more positive note, the media attention around the COP was hopeful. The successful outcome was needed to give the international environmental politics movement a positive spin after the disappointment of Copenhagen, and only weeks away from the next climate negotiations in Cancun. And, last but not least, the CBD welcomed the IPBES, which will probably be formally set in motion during the UN General Assembly before the end of the year.
Thanks for reading my blogs!