Now if Indiana Jones thinks that saving biodiversity is a good thing, then well, maybe it is. I can't recall a time that Indi was ever wrong...Nor Hans Solo for that matter..
That's right, Harrison Ford was in attendance at a summit of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, being held in Nagoya, Japan from October 18 - 29, 2010. I had no idea he was a conservationist, not to be confused with conservative - an easy mistake to make given his country of origin..Tea Party Patriots, need I say more?
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. It entered into being in 1993 and has near universal participation of countries. Of course, the U.S. is among three countries that have not yet ratified it.
That's why Indi was there, to kick some Congress butt into action! He called on the U.S. to ratify the convention and to spread the environmental word to American consumers, the largest (no pun intended) consumers in the world.
In his opening summit address, 'The third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook demonstrates that, today, the rate of loss of biodiversity is up to one thousand times higher than the background and historical rate of extinction. The report predicts that if we allow the current trends to continue we shall soon reach a tipping point with irreversible and irreparable damage to the capacity of the planet to continue sustaining life on Earth.'
Talks between country representatives resulted in agreement on the "Aichi Target", which includes 20 headline targets organized under five strategic goals to be reached by 2020. Targets of particular importance include:
- Cutting the rate of natural habitat loss, including forests, by at least 50%;
- Increasing protection of land (and inland waters) from 13% to 17%
- Increasing protection of marine and coastal areas from 1% to 10%;
- Restoring at least 15 % of degraded areas; and
- Reducing pressures faced by coral reefs
Parties agreed to a 'substantial increase in the level of financial resources in support of implementation of the Convention'. But who knows what that will or will not translate into. Criticism of the Aichi Target stems in large part from lack of funding for its actual implementation.
Agreement on the equitable sharing of the benefits (often genetic) derived from the exploitation of flora and fauna was expected to cause problems for overall summit goals. However, a protocol was developed to ensure that developing countries rich in natural resources, such as Brazil, are recompensated for products made from their native plants and animals. This protocol will come into play once it is ratified by at least 50 parties.
Other references and resources: