High-level panel report on global resources for biodiversity launched

T. V. Padma

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

So far, countries have made no headway on an agreement on mobilising the cash for meeting the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed upon in Nagoya ,  even as the high-level segment kicked off today (16 Oct) by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh,.

Meanwhile, a report of a high-level panel on global assessment of resources for biodiversity, was released today by the environment ministers of India and UK at a side-event.  The report, the first of its kind, describes which targets would require ‘high’ or ‘moderate’ or ‘low’ global investments from 2013-20. So, here we are:

Ecosystem services provide a range of benefits, as in this conceptual diagram. Photo credit: ELN-FAB Steering Group, Wikipedia

Significant investment required:  several hundreds of billions of US dollars, for targets specifically aimed at addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem restoration,

Moderate investment required:  hundreds of billions of US dollars, for targets associated with required conservation work, for example, target 11 dealing with marine protected areas, tens of billions of US dollars for other targets on conservation.

Low investment required:  billions of US dollars for targets related to improving and creating necessary enabling conditions.

For example, the costs for implementing the  Aichi targets are estimated at between US$ 150 billion and US$ 440 billion per year. Raising awareness would require an  investment of of US$ 54 million every year, while reducing habitat loss (wetlands and forests) US$ 152,300 – 288,800.

According to economist Pavan Sukhdev, the chair of the panel, if the direct drivers of biodiversity loss are addressed, the benefits would extend beyond biodiversity to human health, livelihoods, and sustainable development. So, the high numbers in the report “should not be seen as a bill to the biodiversity community,” but a call for better governance.

The report observes that biodiversity targets are inter-linked and inter-dependent, and with national policy goals, and investment for one would be influenced by investments and effectiveness of others.

This requires strong political and institutional frameworks; and funding from a diverse sources, including not just national budgets and international donors, but also private sector and conservation incentives such as payment of ecosystems services, water fees, carbon off-sets and green fiscal policies.

Something tells me, the greens will see red over the recommendations for carbon offsets and private sector

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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