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UK And Brazil Host International Biodiversity Conference

19 January 2010

UK - An international conference on biodiversity hosted by the UK and Brazil will see representatives from over 50 countries meet in London. The meeting is a key stage towards setting new global targets for biodiversity. Many of the world’s most biodiverse-rich nations will be attending.

The conference gives countries from all regions of the world, from Uganda to China, an opportunity to engage and contribute to this key international issue.

Secretary of State for the Environment Hilary Benn said: “2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and we all need to recognise the importance of our fragile eco-systems. Many of the countries represented here share the most diverse eco-systems on the planet and their involvement is vital to achieving the targets we’ll set ourselves later in the year.

“A real challenge is for all countries to realise the true economic value of biodiversity and the financial costs we will face if we continue to destroy and undervalue our natural resources. The protection and restoration of ecosystems is a sensible and cost-effective investment in this planet’s economic survival and growth.”

The joint UK/ Brazil conference will ensure that all countries are involved in early informal discussions around the direction for the global biodiversity targets and issues ahead of a key Conference of the Parties being held in Nagoya, Japan in October – where a new global biodiversity target is set to be agreed.

Since 1992 the world has seen considerable biodiversity loss. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment told us that 60 per cent of our ecosystems are being degraded or used unsustainably. For example, experts believe that 19 per cent of coral reefs have been lost since 1950 and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment tells us that in South east Asia 80 per cent of corals that are under medium to high threat, and these reefs are also the richest in biodiversity. We must work together to do all that we can to prevent further damage, particularly as many ecosystems are also being irreversibly changed by climate change.

Although there has been progress in many areas of biodiversity conservation, it is increasingly recognised that international biodiversity targets set in 2002 will be missed later this year at the global level. This makes it even more important that the new targets are ambitious and achievable.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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