Nagoya To Host United Nations Meeting On Biological Diversity


Nagoya is the host of a major UN meeting starting this weekend. The United Nations has worked hard to get member countries to protect plants and wildlife, including animals. This is all part of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Cartagena Protocol.

Nagoya will also host side events and the Planet Diversity Parade, as well as a large number of meetings where governments, NGOs and others will discuss progress - and setbacks.

Why is biological diversity so important?

Simply put, plants and living creatures co-exist beautifully. We survive together, in peacful co-existence. We need variety to survive; nature abhores incest. If we don't have diverse wildlife and satoyama and healthy rivers and oceans, we are in deep trouble. Climate change also adds to the mix, as the planet seems to go through huge, sudden changes. Meanwhile, multinational corporations like Monsanto and BASF managed to get patents on genetically modified (GM) seeds, but failed to provide the sustainable basis that farmers and consumers need for food security.

In Nagoya this month, negotiatiors will also deal with "access and benefit sharing" which is a huge issue especially for countries with rich and vibrant biological diversity. Pay attention to news about the ABS negotiations, as this may or may not be a success in Nagoya.

Updates: Consumers Union of Japan
English website:
http://www.nishoren.org/en/

1) MOP5 (Cartagena Protocol Issues):

On Sunday October 10, 2010, a number of organizations are holding an out-door pre-event from 10:00-16:00 at the Sakae Mochi no Ki Hiroba in Nagoya. There will be a Planet Diversity Parade from 15:00-16:30 on that day followed by a Forum on October 11 from 9:30-16:40. Finally, on October 16, will sum up the results of the MOP5 negotiations at an event from 13:00-17:00 at Wink Aichi Hall 1102.

For our foreign friends and supporters, the pre-event in the park on Sunday on October 10 and the Forum on October 11 (Monday) will perhaps be the most interesting. Among the speakers on October 11 will be Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser, Australian anti-GMO activist Julie Newman, Norwegian expert on Mexican maize David Quist, and special guests from South Korea and The Philippines, who will talk about GMO-free zones and the Asian campaign against GM rice. Speakers from Japan include Amagasa Keisuke from the No! GMO Campaign and Kawata Masaharu, who has led the efforts to expose GM canola contamination around Japan.

We hope Nagoya will give real results both inside the negotiation hall and outside among citizens, who want to help protect our food and our farming by thinking locally and globally about genetic resources. The theme for our actions is “Food and agriculture that protect biological diversity: Aiming for a world without GMO.” Hope to see you in Nagoya!

2) ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing):

From IPS Watch:
http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/2010/09/28/burdened-with-brackets-biodiversity-abs-protocol-needs-political-will-to-survive/

At stake is a binding instrument aimed at protecting biological resources from the taking of these resources without proper access to or benefits from products arising from them.

Outstanding issues can be found in several provisions, such as Article 3 describing the scope of the protocol, in particular about genetic resources acquired before the entry into force of the protocol, and what genetic resources may be excluded from the text, such as human genetic resources, or human pathogens.

As an example of the small differences that can hold up progress, on Article 4 on fair and equitable benefit sharing, the draft text shows three very similar variations: “to ensure … sharing,” or “with the aim of ensuring … sharing,” or “with the aim of sharing.” The International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Earth Negotiations Bulletin reported in a briefing note that delegates debated this topic last week. They said a group of Asian-Pacific countries sought the first option, but were opposed by the EU and Canada, who said the language would be “legally inappropriate.”

Article 5 on access to genetic resources and Article 6 on research and emergency situations – whose title itself is heavily bracketed – have been discussed at length, according to participating sources.

3) COP10 Some of the many Side Events that may be of interest:
http://www.cbd.int/cop10/side-events/?mtg=cop-10

LAUNCHING OF THE INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR THE SATOYAMA INITIATIVE
Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Launching ceremony of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative with partners including national governments, international organizations, and NGOs. The Minister of the environment of Japan is expected to participate in the side event.

UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES (UNU-IAS) OPERATING UNIT AT ISHIKAWA/KANAZAWA (OUIK) AND SECRETARIAT OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (SCBD)
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
SATOUMI AND THE MANAGEMENT OF MARINE AND COASTAL BIODIVERSITY IN JAPAN

The event will be held to launch a CBD Technical Report on the topic of Satoumi, and to elaborate how Satoumi is used in Japan to improve the management of marine and coastal biodiversity in an ecosystem approach context.

WWF (JAPAN AND CHINA) AND UNDP/GEF YELLOW SEA PROJECT (YSLME)
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
THE PARTNERSHIP FOR YELLOW SEA BETWEEN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, NGOS, GEF AND CORPORATE

This meeting gives an introduction to emerging multiple layers of partnerships at international as well as local levels from diverse sectors including international organizations, local governments, NGOs as well as the corporate sector for conservation and management of biodiversity of the Yellow Sea.

MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT OF JAPAN
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
TOWARD ACHIEVING THE POST 2010 BIODIVERSITY TARGET

Presentations and panel discussion by multistakeholders for promoting the implementation of post-2010 target, including the discussion of "UN Decade on Biodiversity."

MINISTRY OF LAND, INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND TOURISM OF JAPAN
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
COASTAL BIODIVERSITY—IMPROVEMENT MEASURE FOR GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT THROUGH RESTORATION OF COASTAL OCEAN

In October 2009, the UN agencies etc. (including UNEP) published a report, in which notes that “Out of all the biological carbon (or green carbon) captured in the world, over half (55%) is captured by marine living organisms – not on land – hence it is called blue carbon.”. In CO2 absorption by marine organisms (referred to as “the Blue Carbon”), organisms in coastal waters are said to play a major role. The Blue Carbon approach, which is suitable for the Japanese land with the 6th longest shoreline, will become a focus of world attention. *Although restoration of seagrass/seaweed beds and tidal flats have been undertaken from the viewpoints of marine environmental restoration, fisheries promotion, recovery of interactive space between citizens and the sea in Japan, adding a new viewpoint of “contribution to the solution of the global environmental problem” will be expected to accelerate the existing approaches above. *In this session, we will introduce the concept of “the Blue Carbon” getting attention as a carbon sink against global warming first, and then present Japanese leading-edge techniques for marine restoration widely, such as sand capping utilizing dredged soil, effort to conserve and restore seagrass/seaweed beds and tidal flats, installation of organism-coexisting structures.

GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL
Thursday, 21 October 2010
EMERGENCY MARINE RESCUE PLAN: IMPLEMENTING THE ROADMAP TO RECOVERY

Oceans are the least protected areas of the planet and progress is lamentably slow, with less than 1% of the world’s oceans given comprehensive protection. The current rate of protection means that there is little chance of the world’s governments meeting the 2012 target to establish a global network of marine protected areas. Greenpeace will be presenting a new report that will frame this lack of progress with the deepening crisis in the world’s oceans, show where the governance gaps are, explain what needs to be done and use the 2012 target and the failure to halt biodiversity loss by 2010 to demand that urgent action is taken. The event will highlight Greenpeace’s active campaign work both on the high seas and in national waters to illustrate various aspects of the problem and outline the solutions.

INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE
Friday, 22 October 2010
THREATENED ECOSYSTEMS, VULNERABLE PEOPLE

This event will showcase two of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management’s latest flagship products: the recently-initiated process to develop categories and criteria for assessing the conservation status of ecosystems, and a new publication on ecosystems and climate adaptation – the latest in the CEM Ecosystem Management Series. The Ecosystem Red List aims to develop a globally applicable methodology to assess the status of ecosystems. The event will present an update of the proposed methodology of categories and criteria, building on experiences from the IUCN SSC Red List of Threatened Species, provide an opportunity for input, and invite testing of the proposed system. In addition, the event will also launch the latest CEM Ecosystem Management Series publication, which presents examples from around the world that demonstrate the role of ecosystems and the services they provide to support people to adapt to climate change.

If you use Twitter or Facebook, make sure to spread the word about this important meeting to others.

Thank you!

Comments

Pandabonium said…
I am sure that those who profit from degrading the environment are well aware of the impact that they have. To me, the question is not how can we best inform them of these problems (they cause them, they already know) and offer solutions palatable to them, but rather, how can we change the system and force an end to the destruction?

There is nothing to negotiate here. It is literally life and death IMHO.

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