WWF reminds nations of promises on environmental finance

By Tierney Smith
RTCC in Hyderabad

Governments must look for innovative ways to raise the finance needed for biodiversity and set clear funding targets that can be delivered, according to NGO WWF.

Speaking ahead of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) COP11 conference in Hyderabad, Rolf Hogan, Biodiversity Policy Coordinator at WWF International said countries had to implement decisions made two years ago in Nagoya, Japan.

“We are concerned and disappointed, to an extent, about the lack of implementation across the globe on what was agreed in Nagoya,” he said.

At the COP10 Conference two years ago, countries made major breakthroughs on the biodiversity agenda, with agreements including the Nagoya Protocol – on the benefit sharing of genetic resources – and the 10 year long Biodiversity Strategy Plan.

Two years on, however, only six countries have ratified the Protocol.

WWF call for more focus on the High Sea – the area of the world’s oceans which are not covered by national jurisdiction

And while over 91% of the Parties under the convention now have national strategies or plans on biodiversity, only 14 countries have adapted these to include the agreements made in Japan.

Sejal Worah, Programme Director from WWF India said the coming weeks will provide an opportunity for India to lead the way towards these targets.

“Here we have a historic opportunity and in India we should grab this opportunity with both hands,” she said. “We should make sure we not only protect biodiversity in our own country but also protect it across the world.”

Three Recommendations

Hogan said there are “reasons to hope” and that there are three key areas where progress could be made in Hyderabad.

Firstly he said strong targets should be set on how the Strategy could be financed, calling on governments to be creative on how to raise these funds. He also said increasing attention is being given to the role the private sector could play.

“We are looking to governments, foundations – so funds set up by private people – and then there is the role of the private sector, which is getting increasing attention,” he said. “There is a specific area of the CBD which is all about engaging the private sector.

“This is not only about funding but also looking at the impacts to biodiversity from the private sector, so for example from supply chains etc…If we can address this we could potentially limit the need for finance for conservation. There are also specific areas such as tourism that could be very compatible with biodiversity if carried out in the right way, and money could be raised to be put back into conservation.”

Secondly he said a key area of focus should be given to biodiversity on the High Seas – the areas of our oceans outside national jurisdiction – and that COP11 should set out a series of reports to make further progress in this area.

Finally, Hogan said strong efforts should be made by parties to mainstream biodiversity – and more specifically to implement it alongside development. He highlighted the role the CBD could have in the development of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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