Nieuws - 18 oktober 2010

Monday, October 18: Bikes for the Dutch


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

After a long journey, of course with CO-2 compensation, I have arrived in Nagoya, Japan for the 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity, the CBD COP. I will be part of the Dutch delegation as a scientific observer. Over the weekend, I was able to enjoy the festival for the 400th anniversary of the castle of Nagoya with all types of traditional performances throughout the town, and the great weather (about 20 degrees Celsius!), a real relief after the wet start of the fall in the Netherlands.
The Forum for citizens with bicycles, a local NGO which promotes bike riding in Nagoya, has offered bikes to the Dutch delegation. This morning, we were filmed by a local TV station as we rode our bikes from our hotel to the convention centre. It was indeed a great site, the row of Dutch delegates, dressed in suits, on mountain bikes. But it is really very convenient for us to have a bike to use while we are here.
Package deal
During the COP, three main issues will take centre stage in the negotiations: the agreement on a protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS), which should regulate access to genetic resources and the equitable sharing of the benefits from their use; the new strategic plan of the CBD, which includes new targets for biodiversity conservation for 2020, and finding the needed financial resources to implement this strategic plan. Already on the first day, developing countries speak of a package negotiation, implying that success on ABS and the availability of resources are prerequisites to agree to ambitious goals for biodiversity conservation. The negotiations will be intense.
Another important issue on the agenda, especially for scientists, is the support of the CBD for IPBES, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The idea for an IPBES has been inspired by the IPCC for climate change. The IPBES should become a scientific advisory body for biodiversity-related institutions.
I will leave you with a quote from today's speech of Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, 'Nature is not just something we watch disappear in the 21 st century'. I will keep you updated over the next few weeks on the details of the negotiations!

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.