It’s been an exciting and productive first week in Hyderabad, India at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Two years ago COP 10 in Nagoya, Japan resulted in an agreement on 20 ambitious goals to protect biodiversity: the Aichi Targets. At COP 11, CI is making the case that we need to invest now to protect nature, and that investments in renewable natural capital will be the source of numerous benefits in terms of human well-being.
The stakes are high at this meeting: if no agreement is reached on financing, we will be close to halfway through the U.N. Decade on Biodiversity — the period identified as the critical time to protect Earth’s biodiversity — before implementation of the Aichi targets will begin. Every year that we fail to take action results in the loss of ecosystem services valued in the trillions of dollars.
But we have seen positive momentum this first week. CI and our partners have met with country delegations to share our perspective on financing the Aichi targets, and by and large they have been receptive.
Although countries have struggled this week with how to approach the negotiation on financing, we have seen clear signals that there is a willingness to discuss interim targets coupled with a roadmap for finalizing them by the next COP. Overall, the negotiations have been productive: Over 20 points of agreement have been reached this week, including a decision encouraging countries to increase the use of positive incentive measures for biodiversity.
So we are optimistic as we enter week two of negotiations. The second week starts with a flurry of activity for CI: today, CI President Russ Mittermeier hosted a press conference to announce the “Primates in Peril” report, and in the evening the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) held a press conference followed by a reception to announce the European Commission’s contribution of €18 million (more than US$ 23 million) to the CEPF.
We can expect an intense week of negotiations on the financing issue, which will likely be finalized only when the ministerial-level representatives arrive at the end of the week. Also, the negotiations on advice for how to apply safeguards for REDD+, marine issues and integrating biodiversity into development still have a long way to go this week.
We have a long week ahead, but we’re making progress.
Andrew Kolb is the senior director for strategic public outreach on CI’s news and publicity team. Read more blogs from the CBD meeting in Hyderabad.