Saturday, December 22, 2012

United Nations General Assembly resolutions highlight contribution of the Convention on Biological Diversity for oceans agenda and implementation of Rio + 20 outcomes.

Montreal 21 December 2012. The 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly has recognized the importance of recent decisions adopted by the Conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including those dealing with implementation of the global oceans agenda and realization of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio + 20” - “the future we want.”

The extensive references to the CBD and the results of its eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) in the resolutions of the General Assembly1 demonstrate the increasing recognition of the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for sustainable development. Echoing the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference, the general Assembly noted the Aichi Biodiversity Targets including the target for the protection of at least 10% of marine and coastal areas by 2020.

Recognizing that the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 is a comprehensive framework for the biodiversity related Conventions and the entire United Nations system. Governments noted the efforts to mainstream the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the contribution of the United Nations system to support the Strategic Plan for biodiversity 2011-2020, and invited the United Nations system to continue facilitating cooperation among its members in support of the implementation of the Strategic Plan;
The General Assembly also welcomed the Conference of the Parties decision on resource mobilization, which called for an overall substantial increase of total biodiversity-related funding for the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 from a variety of sources.

The General Assembly invited parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to ratify or accede to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization, so as to ensure its early entry into force and its implementation.

The role of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in the protection of the world’s oceans was extensively referred to in its Resolution on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Resolution 67/78). Governments noted with appreciation the overall scientific and technical work carried out under the CBD related to marine and coastal habitats, emphasizing the importance of the ecosystem approach. In particular, they highlighted the recent work, within the framework of the CBD, to describe ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) according to agreed scientific criteria.

The General Assembly further recognized the work of the CBD related to oceans and climate change mitigation and adaptation, referring to COP 11 decisions relating to ocean acidification, and the regulation of ocean fertilization and other forms of so-called “geo-engineering.” The General Assembly expressed its gratitude to the governments of India for hosting COP-11 and welcomed the decision to hold COP-12 in the Republic of Korea. It also noted with appreciation the recent appointment of the new Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, and expressed their support for his tenure.

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