Statement by Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity
In the struggle to deliver a healthier, more just and environmentally-sound world one issue is clear. The Earth's life support systems, from its forests and flowers to its coral reefs and waterways, are under assault as never before.
Four years ago, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the leaders of the world agreed to achieve by 2010 "a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and national levels as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth'". In September 2005, 150 Heads of State, meeting at the World Summit in New York called on all states to fulfill their commitment and significantly reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010.
Meanwhile the findings of a landmark 2005 study into the health of the planet's ecosystems, called the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, undertaken by over 1,300 experts from 95 countries, has added its voice to those of the politicians. Two thirds of the services provided by nature to humankind are in decline, worldwide. Humans have made unprecedented changes to ecosystems in recent decades to meet growing demands for food and other ecosystems services.
These changes have weakened nature's ability to deliver its vital services. Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.
This landmark study concludes that to attain the 2010 biodiversity target will require not only fine words, but an unprecedented effort by all sections of society.
The Convention on Biological Diversity is about life on earth. The achievement of the 2010 biodiversity target is of a crucial importance for everyone alive today and for our children and grandchildren and generations to be born.
I would like to call on everyone to join this unprecedented effort to conserve life on Earth and to realize the 2010 target.
What is needed is a Global Alliance that brings governments, business, industry, non governmental organizations, and the men, women, and youth of this world together in a common endeavor.
The next Conference of the Parties, the meeting of governments to the Convention on Biological Diversity, will be held in Curitiba, Brazil on 21-31 March 2006. It is a unique opportunity to forge such a global alliance for the achievement of the 2010 biodiversity target. So I call on all citizens of our planet Earth to join us in making a Global Alliance a reality, to bring their unique skills and contributions to bear, so that the meeting in Curitiba will be remembered as the birthplace of our renewed commitment to urgently sustain and restore Earth's life support systems.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)is an agreement among the vast majority of the world's governments to conserve biological diversity, use its components sustainably and ensure the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. Parties to the CBD have taken steps to translate the Convention into practical action including the initiation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans in over 100 countries, the raising of awareness about biodiversity, and the adoption of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a an international regulatory framework for the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. The CBD has been ratified by 187 countries and the European Community.