Finally, at the very last moment, after two weeks of negotiation during CBD-COP-10, governments agreed to a new Treaty to protect plant and animals species, and their habitats. The 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, desperately needed a final agreement.
The world couldn’t afford another failure to agree to protect the global environment. Negotiations were tough, with the developed and developing countries quarreling over the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) clause. This clause was incorporated into the Convention on Biological Diversity to ensure that adequate funds would flow from industrialized nations to help preserve the ecosystems of developing countries.
The interests of the two camps differed markedly. In general, industrialized nations wanted to be as free as possible to use the valuable genetic resources found in the rich ecosystems of many developing nations. On the other side of the negotiating table, developing countries wished to harness these genetic resources, like their energy and mineral resources, to promote their own economic growth.
The new Treaty is called historical by the UNEP. It lays down basic ground rules on how nations cooperate in obtaining genetic resources from animals to plants and fungi. It also outlines how the benefits, arising for example when a plant’s genetics are turned into a commercial product such as a pharmaceutical, are shared with the countries and communities who have conserved and managed that resource often for millennia.
The Treaty or Strategic Plan consists of 20 targets to tackle the extinction crisis and reduce the rate of biodiversity loss with 50% in 2020. So, everything seems to turn out for the best, which is also what people involved in the negotiations wants us to believe, and is addressed likewise in press releases from UNEP and IUCN. Unfortunately, sanctions are not part of the agreement. There is no reason to believe that the targets will be met this time, because in 1992 it was agreed that biodiversity loss should be reduced significantly, and again in 2002 governments agreed to this. The intentions are good, but there is a lack of measures to enforce them. (Sources: NRC, 30.10.2010; Asahi.com, 23.10.2010)