Hyderabad biodiversity talks: day 6 diary

By Ed King

RTCC in Hyderabad 

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The pylon: India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will unveil a giant ‘biodiversity pylon’ when he visits the CBD COP11 conference centre on Monday. The structure stands in 15 acres of land set aside for a conservation area within Hyderabad. COP Delegates will plant 300 to 400 rare and endangered plant species in the park, which will cost around $20,000. A pylon seems a curious choice for a biodiversity park. Perhaps it highlights the synergy between the earth and electricity.

Riots: The Prime Minister’s arrival has raised fears a of unrest in the city during his stay. A separatist movement wishes to see the region of Teleganga separate from the state of Andhra Pradesh – and there are concerns they could protest when Singh arrives. Hyderabad has experienced a series of riots in 2012, linked to a deteriorating relationship between certain members of the Hindu and Muslim communities in the city.

Urban sprawl: A report from the Stockholm Resilience Programme warns that an area the size of South Africa will be lost to growing cities over the coming decades. 70% of people are expected to live in cities by 2050, requiring major changes in the way planners incorporate green spaces.

Marine boost:  A report released at the conference reveals Marine Protected Areas have grown by 10% over the past decade. 8.3 million sq km is now under some kind of observation, that’s 2.3% of the global ocean area. It’s not all good news – Patricio Bernal from IUCN’s Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative told us that if the oceans were a patient, they would be in hospital ‘under observation’.

Week 1 review: If you’re interested in finding out what has been discussed over the past week, check our review with Dr Jane Smart from the IUCN

Picture of the day: What a way to remind negotiators why we’re all here – bring your kids to COP! (Thanks to the CBD’s flickr account for this shot)

Read more on: Nature