Brussels, 23 March 2006
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas will be calling for increased international effort to halt the decline in biological diversity when he represents the Commission at the eighth conference of the parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity taking place in Curitiba, Brazil, from 20 to 31 March. The main issues for discussion include improving implementation of the Convention, creating a global network of protected land and marine areas and agreeing on an international regime on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing. Commissioner Dimas will chair a panel on biodiversity and trade.
Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: “Halting the decline of biodiversity by 2010 will be a formidable task. Strengthening the global framework for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity will be the key to success. The EU is particularly committed to further bolstering the biodiversity convention and making sure it is implemented.”
UN Convention on biodiversity
At the 8th Conference of the parties to the UN Convention on biodiversity, the EU expects progress on the crucial issue of developing a global network of protected land and marine areas, modelled on the EU’s own network Natura 2000, which at present covers 18% of the territory of the EU-15.
Also high on the agenda will be the negotiations on an international regime on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, i.e. the permission to physically obtain and subsequently to use any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity and ‘genetic resources’ as genetic material of actual or potential value.
COP8 is further expected inter alia:
Signed in 1992 at the Rio UN Earth Summit and ratified by the EU in 1993, the Convention has now 188 parties. It is the framework for worldwide action to safeguard biological diversity. In 2002, the Convention adopted a strategic plan with the global target to “significantly reduce” the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, the so-called 2010 biodiversity target which the World Summit on Sustainable development (WSSD) endorsed that same year in Johannesburg. The EU has been legislating on biodiversity since the 1970s. In 1998, it adopted a biodiversity strategy, which served as a platform for the adoption in 2001 of four biodiversity action plans.
More information about the EU’s policy on biodiversity and nature protection, see MEMO/06/138 and website: