Convention on Biological Diversity to ‘integrate traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for conservation of biodiversity” – Fact checking

The Convention on Biological Diversity, 20 years on, is still struggling to stem the precipitous decline in biodiversity. After missing the 2010 target of reducing biodiversity loss, it is now pulling out all stops to meet the Aichi Targets, named after the Japanese prefecture where new goals for protection were set two years ago. As time runs out to protect the world’s ‘natural capital’, the forthcoming CBD conference in Hyderabad [CoP-11] will discuss innovative ways of financing biodiversity from partnerships with business to payments for ecosystem services. […]

However, the underlying problem is that the Aichi Targets are politically difficult because the danger of biodiversity loss seems distant and there are always more pressing developmental concerns that push conservation to the background, leading to the risk of reaching tipping points. The CBD secretariat’s document for CoP-11 warns of this danger.

“Biodiversity loss seems distant and can be crowded out by more pressing concerns. It is, therefore, important to highlight the expected benefits associated with the implementation of the Aichi Targets, including sustainable development and poverty reduction benefits.” […]

Africa may be losing more than $15 billion from the piracy of its biodiversity as agricultural products, cosmetics, drugs and traditional knowledge are being patented by multinationals with no benefits going to local communities. So says the National Indigenous Knowledge System Office of South Africa. The best known case relates to Nestle subsidiary Nestec’s claim for five patents on using rooibos and honeybush plant extracts. […]

The Aichi Targets are aimed at addressing the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, reducing the direct pressure on it and improving the status by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity. […]

2020 … TARGET 18

Integrate traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for conservation of biodiversity in implementation of the Convention […]

The emphasis at the 10-day congress was on saving ‘natural capital’ with some speakers emphasising that there is a price to be paid for using nature’s bounty. […]

Will CoP-11 agree to make biodiversity a subsidiary of the economy? Will it help to strengthen the web of life on the planet? We need to wait for the outcome.

Source: Taking stock of biodiversity by Latha Jishnu, Down to Earth, 15 October 2012
Address : http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/taking-stock-biodiversity
Date Visited: Tue Oct 30 2012 11:11:05 GMT+0100 (CET)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

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