Sunday, October 31, 2010

UN Accord, ex USA, Reached on Biodiversity Protections

After a week of hopes and tensions, international delegates to the UN agreed to a landmark treaty to protect global biodiversity. Key aspects of the agreement include:
  • Protection of 17% of land & inland waters globally, up from 13% currently
  • Protection of 10% of coastal & marine waters globally, up from 1% currently
  • Rules governing how countries share in benefits derived in forests & sea, e.g., drugs developed from genetic material found in Amazon rain forest.
  • The US declined to join the biodiversity convention and thus are not a party to this agreement.
  • Japan is contributing $2B over the next 3 years to developing countries to help them preserve ecosystems.
Despite those naysayers who argue this agreement falls short of necessary protection levels, the fact that 193 nations were able to agree on such important environmental issues provides a glimmer of hope on the carbon front. Although not obvious from press reports, it's possible that the biodiversity accord may have created common ground and frameworks to tackle the challenge of carbon interdependency. Nevertheless, the absence of the US, in Kyoto like fashion, may only further alienate the US from the international community.

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