Governments to double biodiversity funds for poor nations
Governments agreed at a UN conference in Hyderabad on Saturday to double funding to poor nations by 2015 for reversing the loss of Earth's dwindling natural resources.
The early-morning deal was finalised after long nights of tough bargaining over the extent and timing of new aid, in the same week that 400 plants and animals were added to a ‘Red List’ of species at risk of extinction.
Governments expressed concern in a document issued at the conclusion of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting that "the lack of sufficient financial resources" was hampering efforts to halt the decline in the natural bounty that humans depend on for food, shelter and livelihoods.
And they urged one another "to consider all possible sources and means that can help to meet the level of resources needed".
UN countries had adopted a 20-point plan at a conference in Japan two years ago to turn back biodiversity decline by 2020.
The so-called Aichi Biodiversity Targets include halving the rate of habitat loss, expanding water and land areas under conservation, preventing the extinction of species on the threatened list, and restoring at least 15 percent of degraded ecosystems.
But the plan has been hamstrung by a lack of money for conservation, especially in developing countries battling inflation, poverty and unemployment in a time of global financial troubles.
Ministers and deputy ministers from 77 countries negotiated the nitty-gritty of funding in Hyderabad, south India, from Wednesday to Friday --at the tail-end of a two-week CBD conference.
They finally agreed to a doubling of biodiversity-related funding to developing countries by 2015, from a baseline of average annual funding in the period 2006-2010 -- and to maintain this level until 2020.
The baseline figure was not mentioned.
It also requires at least 75% of recipient countries to have reported on their spending by 2015 and to have drawn up national biodiversity plans.