Nieuws - 26 oktober 2010

Tuesday , 26 October: Harrison Ford


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

Rumors are that Harrison Ford is in town. He is vice-chair on the board of directors of Conservation International, a large US-based conservation NGO. Of course everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the actor. I hope I will succeed...

On a more serious note, I will now update you on the negotiations on the main issues of the COP. The first one is Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), the negotiations of a protocol under the CBD which would regulate the access to and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. The negotiations are entering a critical phase; the word 'crisis' has emerged... One of the main difficult issues is the scope of the protocol, including whether it will also apply to genetic resources that are already being used, and what types of genetic resources would fall under the protocol. Another major issue is how to organize the compliance to the protocol, including what information should be included in a certificate of compliance, and how checkpoints can control compliance. The problem is that time is starting to run out. The question is really whether the negotiations can still be finalized in time for the end of the COP with so many issues still to be resolved.
The negotiations on the strategic plan of the CBD, which includes targets for biodiversity for 2020, are in better shape. Major issues are still outstanding, including the mission of the strategic plan, and the level of ambition for the size of areas globally to be protected and for the reduction of natural habitat loss. However, it looks like consensus has been reached on other important issues, like eliminating harmful incentives including subsidies, enabling sustainable production and consumption, the prevention of extinction of threatened species, and the legal and sustainable management of fish stocks.
This is real progress, although these texts are not yet final. Moreover, the further success of all negotiations, including ABS and the strategic plan, is also dependent on finding the financial means for the implementation of the plans. Also, even though the draft texts in the strategic plan are relatively ambitious, the question is whether they are realistic. If these targets are to be met in real life, our global economy should be transformed to become truly sustainable. Although I personally am a strong proponent of this fundamental change, I honestly wonder whether the Parties to the CBD (almost all countries of the world) are really ready to seriously commit to this.

Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, assistant professor at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group (FNP).
Foto: Guy Ackermans
Resource dedicated an article to her prior to the conference.