Opinion: The Convention on biological diversity: will The decisions made at cop10 in nagoya make it Easier to conserve biodiversity?


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Keywords: Convention on Biological Diversity, COP10, conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem services, Strategic Plan 2011-2020, Nagoya Protocol, access and benefit sharing. Resource Mobilisation Strategy, nature conservation, protected areas, invasive alien species, mountain zones, wetlands, marine and coastal biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity, ecosystem approach

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),1 agreed at UNCED in 1992, attempted to provide a globally relevant legal framework for nature conservation that was both comprehensive in its coverage and inclusive in its aspirations for all State Parties. Its three main objectives are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.2

The tenth conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the CBD was held in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010.3 The agenda at the conference was dominated by discussion over the sharing of benefits derived from biodiversity and a protocol on this subject was adopted. This Opinion argues that there is a danger that the CBD will become dominated with aspects of economic equity to the detriment of conservation and sustainable use. It may be that the original affirmation by the Parties that 'the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind' would have been better expressed as 'dividing the spoils from biodiversity is a common concern for all parties'.


The three major outcomes from COP10 are the Strategic Plan for 2011-2020, the Nagoya Protocol and the agreement of a Resource Mobilisation Strategy. Agreement on all three of these agenda items was crucial to the success of the conference because the developing nations considered they could only be agreed as an integrated whole and, indeed, would have preferred them to be addressed and adopted as a single package.4 In addition to these three main achievements, over 40 further decisions were made relating to a diverse range of topics which included marine biodiversity, inland waters, mountain biodiversity, biofuels, protected areas, and invasive alien species.
The Strategic Plan
The text for the Strategic Plan for 2011-20205 was adopted on the final day of the meeting following long and hard negotiation. The Plan focuses on the promotion of effective implementation of the Convention. Its underlying rationale is that biodiversity underpins ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem sendees essential for human well-being. The agreed vision for the strategy, entitled 'Living in Harmony with Nature', is that *by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people'.6

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