Financing and biopiracy: The challenges of the next UN Biodiversity Summit (COP11, India)

Date

05 Sep 2012 22:00

Address

European Parliament
  Brussels
Belgium

Event Type

L - Conference, forum

Section

Innovation & Enterprise

Event Location

Brussels

Event Description

Biodiversity represents our most valuable natural heritage and its conservation is one of our most urgent challenges. Beyond its immaterial value, biodiversity plays a vital role for human beings. Water purification, oxygen and carbon recycling, soil fertility, food production, drugs development, and general wealth protection are all examples of benefits provided freely by a healthy biodiversity. Yet human activities and our development choices in particular in the last 50 years have very often led to irreversible loss.
 
Biodiversity services are provided for free but their loss has a cost - a huge one: around 50 billion euros a year and up to 14.000 billions euros by 2050. Biodiversity erosion is particularly alarming in developing countries with the constant plunder of their natural richness and corollary the exploitative appropriation of indigenous forms of traditional knowledge, the so-called biopiracy.
 
In 2010, the COP10 on Biodiversity in Nagoya (Japan) agreed on a long-awaited Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) aiming at putting an end to biopiracy. This new legal instrument was a step forward, yet the whole issue of resource mobilisation for biodiversity protection was left aside.
 
In a few weeks time, in October 2012, the COP11 in Hyderabad (India) will have to look at the best way to implement the ABS Protocol and turn it into a successful and efficient tool against biopiracy. In addition the international community is called upon by several civil society organisations to deliver on resource mobilisation and innovative sources of financing for biodiversity protection before it is too late.
 
At Hyderabad, how will the challenge of fighting against biopiracy be tackled? Will measures on resource mobilisation live up to the high expectations? 

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