People are not aware that human civilisation emerged and is sustained thanks to the services provided by the ecosystems and biomes of our world. The value and beauty of the intricate fabric of nature in all its diversity is a fascinating story that needs to be told in a way that captures the attention of the world.Braulio Ferreira de Souz Dias, United Nations Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, explains that the time has come for his Secretariat to implement the vision that it has set forth over the last two decades…
Braulio Ferreira de Souz Dias
The Convention on Biological Diversity is now 20 years old. In those 20 years the governments of the world have worked hard to elaborate a full suite of tools and approaches to help governments and stakeholders integrate the conservation of biodiversity, its sustainable use, and the equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources into policy and practice. Well, the child is now an adult and it is time to apply those tools and approaches and implement the necessary actions needed to maintain a healthy planet. My priority for the Convention over the UN Decade on Biodiversity can therefore be, quite simply, stated as – ‘implementation, implementation, implementation’.
What can be stated simply may not be so easily put into practice. The full and effective implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, will only be achieved if all Parties to the Convention honour their commitments over the coming decade. First, it is important that countries set ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic, and Time-bound) national (and, where applicable, regional) targets, in line with the global Aichi Biodiversity Targets, by October this year. At the same time governments must identify the financial, human and technical resources necessary to implement the activities to achieve their targets by 2020. And as the Secretariat, we have to find ways to support countries to do so, through capacity-building activities, enhanced technical and scientific cooperation, improved access to and sharing of data and information, improved monitoring and implementation of the resource mobilisation strategy.
We also need to work with a range of partners to support countries in the important task of mainstreaming biodiversity and the goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity into planning and economic activity. We need to work more closely with businesses, with extractive industry, with city planners and all relevant sectors, to ensure that the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is a key principle for all our development planning while also taking into account the need to share the benefits from the use of genetic resources with equity.
In this latter regard, a key goal will be for countries to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing and thereby ensure that this new treaty enters into force before the middle of the decade.
Underpinning all of this will be a need to raise awareness of how biodiversity is the basis for human health, wealth and general wellbeing. People are not aware that human civilisation emerged and is sustained thanks to the services provided by the ecosystems and biomes of our world. The value and beauty of the intricate fabric of nature in all its diversity is a fascinating story that needs to be told in a way that captures the attention of the world.