The year 2005 highlighted – perhaps more forcefully than ever before – the ever-growing environmental challenges created by
humanity for biological diversity, the Earth’s ecosystems and the climate. The response must continue to grow in scope, and
international cooperation must continue to deepen, if the world is to confront the situation in a timely way. In 2006, the international community will have a number of opportunities to demonstrate its commitment to tackling these growing challenges.
The eighth Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and third Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will take place in March. These will provide an opportunity to push for further implementation
of both agreements and to respond clearly and constructively to the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. A series
of meetings focused on chemicals management also offer opportunities for progress in 2006. Finally, the Commission on
Sustainable Development, scheduled for May, begins a two-year focus on energy that should provide a much-needed forum for