53 European governments meet in Croatia to evaluate efforts to reverse decline of biodiversity
Geneva, Strasbourg, Zagreb, 8 February 2006 - The Croatian Prime Minister and Minister of Culture will welcome government representatives and environmentalists participating at the Fourth Intergovernmental “Biodiversity in Europe” Conference in Croatia’s Lake Plitvice National Park from 22 to 24 February.
Minister Božo Biškupiæ said that he is honoured that Croatia will be the host of this important conference. “Although crowded and economically developed, Europe boasts a diverse landscape and a rich heritage of plants, animals and ecosystems whose survival is critical to our own future well-being” he said.
The event, organized biannually in the framework of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS), has a crucial role in promoting pan-European cooperation to reach the target of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 - the target that Ministers of Nature and Environment of 53 European countries committed their countries to in 2003.
The 2010 target is being used by the global community as a tool for stepping up action on the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s rapidly diminishing biological diversity. The European region has already adopted nine specific, measurable sub-targets for ensuring that the 2010 target is achieved.
The Conference provides a forum for European Governments to shape European positions to be taken to the upcoming Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Curitiba, Brazil, 20-31 March 2006). Key issues on the pan-European agenda for the conference include people’s involvement in biodiversity, the interaction between biodiversity and forest management and agriculture, the establishment of ecological networks and protected areas, and combating the threat of invasive alien species.
Note for the editor:
A press conference will be held at the noon of 22 February. The actual conference will start at 11.00 hrs with a high level segment. The conference is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Council of Europe in the framework of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS), together with host country Croatia.
For more information: www.strategyguide.org or please contact Mr Michael Williams, UNEP, +41 22 917 8242, +41 79 409 1528 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Ms Agnes Bruszik, Project Manager, ECNC, + 31 13 5944944, e-mail: email@example.com.