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Opening Remarks by UNEP Deputy Executive Director, Angela Cropper at the Intergovernmental and Multi-stakeholder Meeting on an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Nairobi, 5 October 2009 - Honorable Minister Michuki; Distinguished President of the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity; Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am so pleased to add my voice of welcome to you all to the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi and to the second meeting on an intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

First, may I extend our appreciation to you, Minister Michuki, for attending this meeting. For thirty six years, your beautiful country has been host to the UN Environment Programme and UN Habitat - the United Nations agency for human settlements.

The economic, social and environmental challenges that Kenya is tackling today are common to many countries of the developing and developed world. And, some of these are reflected in the deliberations of this meeting on future arrangements for improving the interface between science and policy on issues relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services. Kenya is a country which can attest to the centrality of biodiversity and ecosystem services to the foundation of economy and society.

I also express UNEP's gratitude to the Governments of France, Finland, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Community, for their generosity in providing the financial support for organizing this meeting.

Distinguished delegates;

We meet against the background of intense preparations for celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity next year; a high level segment on biodiversity at the sixty-fifth session of UN General Assembly in 2010; and the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010. All of these will contribute to reviewing progress made in achieving the 2010 biodiversity targets and identifying future biodiversity targets.

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