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Saturday, December 1, 2012

UN Convention unveils new initiative to reduce poverty

The 11th Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will see to the unveiling of a new initiative that would help countries to meet their governmental obligations.
The initiative will also work towards the reduction of poverty, showing how the two seemingly disparate words of poverty eradication and biodiversity conservation are connected.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the initiative is a three-year project by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) with the intention that policies to conserve nature and reduce poverty will work in harmony.
IIED revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that the new initiative will help nations identify opportunities to build a business case for biodiversity as a key developmental asset through trade in biodiversity-based products and services, improved genetic diversity for agriculture.
Commenting on the new initiative, Dilys Roe of IIED affirmed that biodiversity and poverty are tightly linked whereas their policies are rarely linked.
“The two sides of policymaking need to be brought together so that natural resources can contribute to development and poverty reduction strategies in a sustainable way,” Roe said.
NaijaAgroNet further gathered that all the 193 parties to the CBD adopted a 10-year strategy in 2010 with the aim of conserving biodiversity and ensuring that it is been put to sustainable use.
The 10-year strategy also ensures that benefits from biodiversity usage are shared fairly and equitably.
As part of the new strategy, countries agreed to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.
NaijaAgroNet further gathered that having identified the urgent need for improved capacity for mainstreaming poverty eradication strategies, plans and development as a means of enhancing implementation of the convention, COP also set up an Expert Group on Biodiversity, in 2011 for poverty eradication and development.
Participants at the convention mandated the new group to further clarify the linkages between poverty reduction, plans and development.
The group was also charged with the responsibility to identify the most effective approach toward a framework on capacity development for mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services for sustainable development and poverty eradication
In their recommendations to COP, the group requested the Executive Secretary of COP to summon every stakeholder to come forward with their views taking the outcome of Rio+20 into consideration.
Encouraging all partners as well as stakeholders involved in biodiversity-related programmes to consider different perspectives and priorities in all biodiversity and ecosystem services valuation processes is also part of the recommendation of the group.
A target was also set that by 2020 biodiversity values would have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes.
COP, as the governing body of the Convention, advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings.
To date COP has held 10 ordinary meetings and one extraordinary meeting to adopt Biosafety Protocol. COP has held 10 ordinary meetings and one extraordinary meeting to adopt Biosafety Protocol.

Yinka Awosanya
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

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