International biodiversity meeting to take place in Brazil

Eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity will meet in Curitiba, Brazil 20 to 31 March 2006

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity returns to its place of birth, Brazil, for the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in late March. 187 countries and the European community will meet in the "Green" city of Curitiba, Brazil, to make progress on a set of interlinked issues which have as a goal, ensuring the foundation for sustainable development.

Among the topics to be discussed:

The expansion of systems of protected areas around the world. Discussions will focus on identifying ways to cooperate for the establishment of protected areas in marine areas on the high seas - beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. Parties will also look at the mobilization of financial resources for the establishment of protected areas systems around the world, and the development of tool kits.

The meeting will also consider the possible terms and form of an international regime on access to genetic resources and sharing of the benefits. Earlier this year, a meeting in Granada, Spain, resulted in a draft text which could form the basis for further negotiations. Parties will seek to come to consensus on this issue and make further progress.

The focus of delegates for the meeting will be on ways to improve implementation of the provisions of the Convention at the regional and national levels in order to achieve the 2010 biodiversity target. The target, endorsed by heads of state at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, calls upon parties to achieve "a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and national levels as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth."

In support of this, delegates will be also receive the latest version of the Global Biodiversity Outlook, which provides both an assessment of the status and trends of biodiversity loss around the world, as well as an evaluation of the ways to ensure that biodiversity is taken into account in agriculture, trade and poverty alleviation strategies.

During the second week of the meeting, ministers from around the world will meet in a unique round-table format for open discussions on the role of biodiversity in: food and agriculture, development and the eradication of poverty, trade, and access to genetic resources and benefit sharing. These thematic roundtables will be followed by a plenary session to report on the issues discussed and conclusions reached in each of the roundtables. Each roundtable will be co-chaired by two ministers of the environment from different continents.

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The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (www.biodiv.org) is an agreement among the vast majority of the world's governments to conserve biological diversity, use its components sustainably and ensure the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. Parties to the CBD have taken steps to translate the Convention into practical action including the initiation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans in over 100 countries, the raising of awareness about biodiversity, and the adoption of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a an international regulatory framework for the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. The CBD has been ratified by 187 countries and the European Community.


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