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Tenth Conference of Parties to Convention on Biological Diversity convenes

October 18, 2010 - JAPAN

2010 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference

Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture hosts the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in a landmark year. COP 10 will set new targets for the period between 2011 and 2020 for reducing the rate at which biological diversity is being lost. Meanwhile, environmentalists warn that the world's present focus on climate change is sidelining the overall needs of the planet. Signed by 189 countries at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity seeks to create a roadmap for the implementation of a binding agreement that will protect biodiversity. While countries are mobilizing against climate change, other planetary needs, such as biodiversity, are being sidelined, according to environmentalists interviewed in August by BBC environmental correspondent Richard Black. ;"Species are going extinct at perhaps 1,000 times the normal rate, as key habitats such as forests, wetlands and coral reefs are plundered for human infrastructure," Black explained, ;"aquifers are being drained and fisheries exploited at unsustainable speed. Soils are becoming saline, air quality is a huge cause of illness and premature death; the human population is bigger than our one Earth can currently sustain." He asks why the world's political leaders are not lamenting the big picture as loudly and as often as the climate component of it? The CBD Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf described COP 9, held in Germany in May 2008, as the "most important of all the Conferences of the Parties." For two weeks, some 6000 delegates from 191 states tackled controversial issues that included deforestation, the patenting of seeds by multinational companies, sustainable development, genetically modified crops, the protection of the oceans, the financing of conservations and biofuels production. For the first time scientific criteria has been laid down for establishing marine protected areas, according to the COP 9 news releases. By 2012 these zones are to be designated; currently no more than 1 per cent of the area of the ocean is designated as a protected area, a measure to address overfishing and the threat to commercial fishing. At COP 9 a de facto moratorium was imposed on ocean fertilization with iron. The idea was presented as a way to encourge the growth of marine phytoplankton blooms to help bind the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

Convention on Biological Diversity COP 9

Hijacked by climate change? (BBC 27 Aug 2009)

Connecting Nature's dots (Opinion NYT 22 Aug 2009)

Date written/update: 2010-10-18