Mobilising finances will be a tough job at CBD COP-11

T. V. Padma

T. V. Padma
South Asia regional coordinator, SciDev.Net

After the euphoria of the previous COP-10 in Nagoya in 2010, which formalized the Nagoya protocol on access and benefit sharing, and adopted the UN strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020, come the on-the-ground realities in Hyderabad.

The most important and sobering of these is the question of where will the cash come from to meet to implement the UN strategic plan. The previous meeting in Nagoya was unable to decide on exact mechanisms to mobilise money. “It will be a political challenge for India to get countries to agree on this,” an official from the ministry of environment had said ahead of COP-11.

Mobilising finances to implement biodiversity targets will be a challenge. Credit US government

India’s minister for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan too told the media that mobilizing financial resources would be a major concern at the Hyderabad meeting.So did CBD executive secretary Braulio Dias, who says “agreeing on the way forward to mobilize financial resources to achieve the targets (for biodiversity) … that will be a particularly difficult negotiation, as always. Especially because many countries are facing a financial crisis”.

International flows to biodiversity are approximately US$6 billion, which is 4.7 per cent of the global official development assistnance (ODA) of US$127 billion.

India and the UK sponsored in 2012 a high level panel to assess resources needed globally  to implement the strategic plan for biodiversity, and put the figures at between US$150 billion and 430 billion.

A parallel assessment by the CBD secretariat on funds needed by developing countries implement the plan and achieve the Aichi targets for biodiversity, would be  between US$74 and 191 billion, over the period 2014-18.

And no one is clear where this money will come from.

The slow pace of ratification of the Nagoya Protocol is another concern. So far, 92 countries, have signed the Nagoya Protocol, but only six have ratified it.

Indian CSOs are more upbeat about CBD than climate change conferences.  “The voice of CSOs  is heard much more in CBD, compared to climate change (negotiations) where CSOs are not much welcome,” Sejal Worah, programme director of World Wildlife Fund-India, observed at the  national consultation with CSOs. In CBD, “CSOs do active lobbying and advocacy”.

I hope this translates into a better outcome.

This blog post is part of our coverage on COP 11 Convention on Biological Diversity — which takes place 8–19 October 2012. 


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