Convention on Biological Diversity Update: Progress and Frustration

Orchids at a garden in Nagoya.

Orchids at a garden in Nagoya.

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:

  1. The CBD Strategic Plan, which will set out targets for biodiversity conservation to be achieved by 2020.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.


  1. carlos manuel rodriguea says

    thanks for keeping all were well informed. is there any site were we can read the ministers statements??

  2. Dassaev García says

    I’m pleased that progress is being achieved at the convention in Nagoya, but I worry about that by 2010 could be too late to implement the reforms and action plans of biodiversity protection, because ten years is a long time and in that time could precisely what we want to avoid
    forgive my bad english, i’m still learning

    Me alegra que se este logrando un progreso en la convención en Nagoya, pero me preocupa que para el 2010 sea demasiado tarde para poner en acción las reformas y planes de protección a la biodiversidad, porque diez años es mucho tiempo y en ese lapso podría pasar lo que precisamente se quiere evitar.

  3. Robin Winters says

    As a CI contributor for many years now, I am very hopeful of possible outcomes.
    As an ocean advocacy founder (One World Ocean Alliance) I am hoping that Japan, precisely Japan’s government, will have a change of conscience. To date, Japan is one of the leading offenders of our world’s oceans. Their contribution of 2 Billion would be better spent funding their own Villages. Taiji, for example, murders 20,000 dolphins annually, plus Whales. They have a blatant disregard for international law where these protected mammals are concerned. The false claims of this being part of their culture is false. Japan’s government funds this practice. The finning of sharks and overfishing of Bluefin Tuna to the point of extinction cannot go unsaid. The only way this meeting can be considered a success is if Japan stops its vulgar harvesting of OUR oceans. They need to be the example to the World. I firmly believe that if they stopped their detrimental practices, other countries that Whale and run drive fisheries would follow.
    Here is hoping for a positive outcome! For if our oceans die, we die.

    Robin Winters-Founder
    One World Ocean

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