Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stephen Leahy, "BIODIVERSITY: Good Intentions Eclipse New Funding at U.N. Meet," May 31, 2008.

[The loss of biodiversity is a story lost in deeper denial than climate change ever was. -jlt]

Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have fought hard against anything resembling a legal obligation to compensate countries in the developing world for the use of their genetic resources...

BONN, May 31 (IPS) - The world community took some ever-so-careful steps towards slowing the biodiversity crisis at a major U.N. meeting in Bonn, while emphasising the need for urgency and action.

Agreement on the need for more protected areas in tropical forests and oceans was universal, but only Germany offered any new funding. On the contentious issue of biofuels and their impacts on food and biodiversity, members agreed at the last minute that biofuels production ought to be environmentally sustainable and not impact biodiversity. There was also an agreement on a de facto moratorium on ocean fertilisation schemes.

And, after 16 years of meetings, the 168 nations that have ratified the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) agreed to a final two-year timetable to establish an asset and benefit sharing (ABS) regime.

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