Ten days have passed in Nagoya, Japan, at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Two remain—two days that will help determine the world’s biodiversity conservation priorities for the next 10 years.
As is the case with any negotiation involving most of the world’s countries, progress doesn’t always come quickly. But the good news is that we are, in fact, making progress in Nagoya.
What’s on the Table
Negotiators are discussing three major issues in Japan:
- The CBD Strategic Plan, which will set out targets for biodiversity conservation to be achieved by 2020.
- Access and Benefit Sharing—the art of determining who has access to, and who will benefit from, “genetic resources.” (Genetic resources can be defined as any biological material with commercial value—e.g., in products like drugs or cosmetics.)
- Financing—determining who, exactly, will pay for biodiversity protection.
Most of CI’s work focuses on the Strategic Plan itself. Yet the progress on all three of these issues will determine how the conversation moves along on the other two.
So far, through long days (and nights) of negotiation, CI has seen some good results.
- Most notably, 25/15—our goal of seeing 25 percent of land and inland waters and 15 percent of marine areas under formal protection—is on the table to be included in what’s known as Target 11, which outlines global targets for protected areas. This is thanks to Costa Rica, with whom CI is working closely.
- Agreement was reached on a target to prevent the extinction of threatened species.
- Subsidies and other incentives harmful to biodiversity are targeted to be eliminated or reformed by 2020.
Negotiations also got good news on Wednesday, when Japan offered $2 billion in aid over the next three years to developing nations to help them reach their biodiversity conservation goals.
The Home Stretch
CI works to protect biodiversity because it is the building block of life. People need nature to thrive. And in these last few days of the CBD, negotiators have a chance to make a serious commitment to protecting it.
Environment ministers from more than 100 countries, as well as a few heads of state, are in Nagoya to finalize the negotiations. We hope the presence of these leaders can create the momentum necessary for countries to resolve their differences and sign off on a strong framework for the next 10 years of conservation action.