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5647 Views 6 Replies Last post: Sep 23, 2010 11:10 AM by John Jackson RSS
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Sep 9, 2010 6:57 PM

Are we being told enough about Nagoya?

I’ve spoken to a number of my friends, who are generally well-informed people, and none of them have heard of the Nagoya conference.  I’ve also had a look at lots of news websites and haven’t found much about the conference yet.  Why isn’t there more information out there?  It seems like this is an important conference for all of us, but there won’t be much public support for action on biodiversity if nobody knows the conference is happening.  Why are we not being told more about this?
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    Sep 14, 2010 3:02 PM (in response to Anthea)
    Re: Are we being told enough about Nagoya?

    I agree and if you go to their website it doesn't really tell you much either unless you are already an expert. Maybe newspapers do not think it sells papers but I think as part of the BBC's public service remit it should make sure it is covering things as important as this.

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    Sep 15, 2010 1:17 PM (in response to Anthea)
    Re: Are we being told enough about Nagoya?

    You can find out more at www.biodiversityislife.net - this UK website has a tab devoted to Nagoya. However I agree with your concern, there is nowhere near enough coverage in the Media. One reason is that editors don't see it as important to their readers, so they don't cover it - this is a Catch 22 - how can readers express their interest if they arn't aware its happening? In reality, biodiversity loss has dramatic and drastic economic and social conequences - we only have to look at the lack of regulation of the oceans to see this. Factory fishing is the last throws of human hunter-gathering - without consequence for the future. This is so short-sighted when we see that a hugh proportion of the human population relies of ocean resources for food.

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    Sep 20, 2010 12:03 PM (in response to Anthea)
    Re: Are we being told enough about Nagoya?

    I've seen quite a number of these big international meetings come and go in the past and, unless you have a strong interest in the issues from a policy point of view, it's not always easy  to get information on what is happening unless you are tracking the policy detail and are signed up to the many mailing lists and other online feeds.

     

    So we aren't being told much about Nagoya, but it is possible to find out - whether the information is easy to digest is another matter.  What happens in the meetings is often complex, small-scale politics and policy negotiation, debating detailed wording and commitments, forming groups of countries with common interest and so on. You'll find that the people who understand what is going on are the UN staff, various civil servants from the countries represented, and possibly a few NGO reporters and media specialists.

     

    The media generally won't always take an interest unless the politicians (rather than the policy staff alone) take a high profile role, and vice versa.  Even if there is interest in a specific meeting, this often won't take a high profile until shortly before the meeting because of the way that the media works. And then the focus will often be on what particular politicians say, not on broad explanation of the issues.

     

    Having said that, it is probably of interest to ask whether people are aware of 2010 being Biodiversity Year, and of the existence of targets.  If they are aware of this, then they are aware to some extent of what is being discussed in Nagoya.

     

    I quite like the IUCN site Countdown 2010 for fairly consumer-friendly stuff.  For the much more detailed digests and summaries on negotiations, I like the IISD website.

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      Sep 20, 2010 4:32 PM (in response to John Jackson)
      Re: Are we being told enough about Nagoya?

      And just to add to what I said earlier, you can get a taste of what the meetings are like by looking at the UN General Assembly site.

       

      On 22 September there will be a high-level meeting on biodiversity that will look at the international agenda for the next few years.  Summary and some papers on the website - but this is pretty technical stuff in a policy sense.  For those who are really keen it will be webstreamed live, I believe, on New York time - there is a link on the page..

       

      Why mention this?  I think it helps to answer the question - the negotiations and policy discussions are not easy to get into, and this is why there tends not to be a huge public demand for the raw discussions!

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        Sep 22, 2010 6:24 PM (in response to John Jackson)
        Re: Are we being told enough about Nagoya?

        And again, just to add to information on the current discussions at the UN General Assembly that will lead up to Nagoya:

         

        From 1900 London time 22 September, there are a couple of press conferences on biodiversity being webcast from the UN website

         

        From midnight London time 22 September, a webcast on the same site on a session on the Convention on Biological Diversity.  This may well be broken into chunks and be available as archive clips tomorrow for those with less stamina, like myself!

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          Sep 23, 2010 11:10 AM (in response to John Jackson)
          Re: Are we being told enough about Nagoya?

          Range of topics emerging from the UN General Assembly’s High-level meeting as a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity which I mentioned above.  Some meeting coverage and summary papers of yesterday's session are available on the website. These will all be discussed in much more detail in Nagoya.

           

          In short, conserving species and habitats is essential, not least because biodiversity underpins economies and human well-being.  The idea of environmental economics and ecosystem services has been around for a long time, with a big interest from the 1980s, but recent prominent work on ecosystem services (the services that ecosystems provide to us) featured in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and interest in environmental economics has recently centred on the big Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) project.

           

          There was recognition that the 2010 targets on biodiversity loss won’t be met and reference to the need for future vision and goals - 2050 is mentioned, and the EU is developing 2020 targets at the moment.  While Nagoya is seen as an important event, it looks more likely that new international targets for the future will be a key focus at the big 2012 meeting, which is 20 years after the 1992 Rio meeting at which the Convention on Biological Diversity came on the scene.

           

          Quite a number of references to Nagoya, looking forward to agreement on Access and Benefit Sharing - this is a set of ideas about who should have access to genetic resources (a particular way of seeing biodiversity) and under what conditions.  Many countries are concerned about whether their biodiversity is being used for commercial profit without their people seeing any of the benefit. The Access and Benefit Sharing agreements aim to set clear rules and guidelines to ensure fair use.

           

          There was also emphasis on the impact of biodiversity loss on poor people - this is important and now recognised in the Millennium Development Goals, a UN approach that sets out international objectives to combat poverty.

           

           


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