Governments must get over differences to deliver a new biodiversity rescue plan – WWF
The conference risks becoming bogged down in acrimony between developed and developing nations over the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Protocol, with many nations insisting there would be no new biodiversity plan unless there’s additional funding to implement it and agreement on the ABS Protocol.
“Unless countries can agree on a way forward on ABS, a plan for protecting the world’s natural assets is in jeopardy.” said WWF International Director General Jim Leape. “Governments have a unique opportunity this week to deliver a plan of action for the next decade to protect our planet’s nature. With biodiversity in steep decline they can’t afford to fail.”
“We see a few ministers trying to bridge their differences on ABS. We urge other countries to join that effort, set aside their differences and define what they can agree on.”
An injection of new money to deliver on an ambitious set of targets to halt biodiversity loss by 2020 is also fundamental to a successful outcome of the biodiversity summit.
“We look to Japan, as host country, to help mobilise money from other governments.” added Leape. “Without additional funding, the biodiversity plan risks staying on paper and not delivering action on the ground.”
There has been some positive progress on the negotiation of a number of targets under the new biodiversity plan. Agreement is now looking likely on the inclusion, for the first time, of a target requiring governments to include national capital accounting in their national budget, as well as consensus on a target to stop the overexploitation of fish stocks.
WWF is calling for a 20 per cent protected areas target for land, marine and coastal areas. While the terrestrial target is looking hopeful with a range between 15 and 25 per cent currently on the table, the target on marine and coastal areas is still being hotly debated, with figures from just six to15 per cent under discussion.