UN conference to agree on sharing biodiversity benefits

The UN biodiversity conference meeting in Bonn has achieved a breakthrough on access and benefit sharing ahead, with the aim of ending "biopiracy" within two years, German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday, dpa reported.

"For the first time we have legally binding agreements," Gabriel said, although he acknowledged the voluntary and legally binding parts still needed to be identified.

Work to flesh out a deal to counter biopiracy - the term used to describe the patenting of indigenous remedies by the pharmaceutical industry without payments to the countries where they originate - was proceeding, Gabriel said.

The next UN conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held in the Japanese city of Nagoya in 2010, has been tasked with reaching agreement on the issue.

Developing countries are alarmed that their natural resources, particularly in the form of medicinal remedies developed from indigenous plants, are being discovered by major pharmaceutical companies and patented without any benefits being passed back to the countries concerned.

The 191 countries participating in the CBD also received an interim report on the economic aspects of biodiversity loss, presented by development economist Pavan Sukhdev.

Sukhdev described the undertaking as a "mammoth task," but added: "This is the right thing to do and the right time to do it."

The final report would provide the economic basis for a "new economy" that took into account ecological values not currently reflected in standard economic analyses, he said.

German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, one of the drivers of the report, noted that little progress had been made on the CBD and attributed this in part to the lack of an economic valuation of biodiversity loss.

"We need to place a value on biodiversity to ensure efficient use," he said, adding this should not be understood as merely looking for new ways to make profits.

But appealing purely to ethical standards had only limited effect.

Asked to put a value on biodiversity loss, Sukhdev said the annual capital loss to the world economy over the first half of this century could come to 3.1 trillion euros (4.8 billion dollars), depending on how future loss was discounted.

Taking just forest biomes, for which considerable data had been collected, Sukhdev said that by 2050, if current policies were continued, the global loss would amount to 6 per cent of gross domestic product.

"This is just in direct and indirect use values - food, water collection, flood prevention and so on... It does not include non-use values, such as ethical values," said the economist who has previously conducted a similar study for the Indian government.

Conference delegates compared the report to the Stern report on the costs of climate change presented to the British government in 2006 which boosted public interest in the issue around the world.

Echoing another theme heard repeatedly at the two-week conference, Sukhdev's interim report found a close link between poverty and the loss of ecosystems.

"We find poverty and the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity to be inextricably intertwined," it said.

The main immediate beneficiaries of ecosystems and biodiversity were the poor, with the livelihoods most affected being subsistence farming, animal husbandry, fishing and informal forestry, it said.

The report called for those who contribute to maintaining sensitive ecosystems to be allowed to share in the benefits.

It was critical of current agricultural policy in the industrialized world. "We need to rethink today's subsidies to reflect tomorrow's priorities," it said.

Continuing along the current path would mean that in the first half of the century, 11 per cent of natural areas would be lost.

In addition, 40 per cent of land under low impact agriculture in 2000 would be converted to intensive agriculture with resultant biodiversity loss, and 60 per cent of coral reefs would be lost.

Since 1900, the world had lost 50 per cent of its wetlands, with the damage in the first half of the 20th century being done in northern countries, while the pressure was now on tropical and subtropical wetlands, it said.

The report called for a radical change in economic methods.

"GDP growth does not capture many vital aspects of national wealth and wellbeing, such as changes in the quality of health, the extent of education, and changes in the quality and quantity of our natural resources," it said.

One of the report's key aims is to provide a policy toolkit for policy makers and administrators. Sustainable development and better conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity needed to be placed on a basis of sound economics, it said.

Some 6,000 delegates from most of the world's countries are attending the conference. Crucially, the United States has not ratified the CBD and is taking no formal part.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Azerbaijan's liberated lands to contribute to expansion of TRACECA corridor - minister
Azerbaijan's liberated lands to contribute to expansion of TRACECA corridor - minister
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
New customs post in Azerbaijan to speed up cargo movement along North-South corridor (PHOTO)
New customs post in Azerbaijan to speed up cargo movement along North-South corridor (PHOTO)
Loading Bars
Latest
1 dead, 7 injured in shooting at off-campus party near Georgia university
Tesla posts a $1.62 billion profit in Q3 despite difficult car market
198 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast
10 envoys to be declared persona non grata: Erdogan
UN's Guterres welcomes Saudi Arabia's climate initiatives in call with King Salman
Presidential elections to be held in Uzbekistan
UK says substantial differences remain with EU over N.Ireland trade
New migrant caravan in Mexico pushes past blockade to head north
Aramco aims for net zero emissions from operations by 2050, CEO says
U.S. administers nearly 413 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines
Chronicles of Victory: Azerbaijani president gives interview to Le Figaro newspaper on October 24, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 24, 2020
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange growing
Iran unveils details of its trade turnover via Astara customs
Putin invites Israeli prime minister to visit St. Petersburg
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 24
Turkmenistan launches production of new types of paving slabs
Azerbaijani banks ramp up business lending since early 2021
Georgia and Ukraine talk cooperation within European integration
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 23
UK records another 44,985 new coronavirus cases
Tactical-Special Exercises of Azerbaijani Special Forces end (VIDEO)
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva shares photos from visit to Zangilan with President Ilham Aliyev (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani, Iranian FMs talk recent relations developments
Members of Nizami Ganjavi International Center join call towards cop26
Arayik Harutyunyan's visit to Russia is solely private - embassy of Azerbaijan
NATO not ready for equal dialogue with Moscow - Russian defence chief
Saudi-led coalition says destroys Houthi vessels, bomb-laden boats site
Kazakhstan updates forecast for completion of grain harvesting
IRENEX shares data on sales of Sepahan Oil Company in energy exchange
EIB to help reduce COVID-19 effects on Georgian SMEs
Moscow comments on reports about holding Russia-Armenia-Azerbaijan summit on Nov.2021
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,315 more COVID-19 cases, 981 recoveries
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva shared footage from Zangilan visit on her Instagram page (VIDEO)
Turkmenistan to participate in EXPO-2025
Georgia and Ukraine sign protocol on economic cooperation
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's ICT sector
Azerbaijan's liberated lands to contribute to expansion of TRACECA corridor - minister
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
Saudi Arabia targets net zero emissions by 2060
Russia registers an all-time high of 37,678 coronavirus cases in past day
Uzbekistan eyes foreign technology for better local polymer production
Turkmen delegation to pay working visit to Iran
Azerbaijan records growth in loan portfolio of local banks in 9M2021
Turkmenistan’s Turkmenbashi refinery eyes producing hydrogen
Azerbaijan, Singapore to co-op in construction of geostationary satellites
IRICA shares data on Iran's trade turnover with SCO member states
Iran sees increase in exports of non-oil products from Hormozgan Province
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Kazakhstan unveils trade indicators with its TOP-3 EU partners
Turkmenistan approves new procedure for allocating investments from Stabilization Fund
Azerbaijani MoD observes exercises in liberated Lachin district (VIDEO)
Russian Health Ministry greenlights joint COVID-19 and flu vaccination
Central Bank discloses volume of loans issued to Azerbaijan's districts
Georgia records surge in tourist visits from Uzbekistan
Tourist inflow from Kazakhstan to Georgia soars
Iran boosts exports through customs of Zanjan Province
Azerbaijan notes decrease in banking sector' profit
Azerbaijan sees rise in mortgage lending
Iranian currency rates for October 23
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Georgia releases data on COVID-19 cases for October 23
New customs post in Azerbaijan to speed up cargo movement along North-South corridor (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Armenia to sign new documents in Moscow
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
Georgia sees decrease in tourist inflow from Azerbaijan
Turkmen company to purchase material, technical resources via tender
Kazakh energy company opens tender to buy metal corners
Kazakh oil company opens tender to buy spares
Kazakh KazMunayTeniz opens tender for Caterpillar equipment maintenance
Azerbaijan's Central Bank unveils data on currency exchange operations for Jan. through Sept. 2021
Azerbaijani fund presents concept for restoration of liberated territories
EDB purchases bonds of Kazakh KEGOC JSC
US corporate workers to start returning to offices next month
Iran changes pricing of petrochemical products at its mercantile exchange
Iran's foreign exchange needs trigger to expand exports
Surge of energy prices puts Europeans in stalemate (VIDEO)
Chinese company opens massive eco-friendly mine in Serbia
Kazakhstan’s daily COVID-19 case count stands at 1,732
Georgian honey exports skyrocket, following COVID-ravaged year
Iranian envoy, head of Georgia's State Security Service meet
Turkey announces commissioning date for logistics center in Sivas (Exclusive)
US military eliminates one of Al-Qaeda leaders in northwest Syria
Mutation of Delta variant may be more transmissible: UK health agency
Biden, Macron discuss cooperation, to meet in Rome late October
India, UK working on free trade agreement: Harsh Vardhan Shringla at India Global Forum
Turkey reports 28,192 daily COVID-19 cases
G7 countries reach breakthrough on digital trade and data
India perhaps only G20 country to fulfil...: India ahead of COP26 climate summit
U.N. plane aborts landing as air strike hits Ethiopia's Tigray
Relations with India stronger than ever, says Maldives Defence Minister
Chronicles of Victory: October 23, 2020
Iranian delegation leaves for Tashkent to observe elections
UK PM Johnson says fresh COVID lockdown not on the cards
2 soldiers, terrorist killed in northwestern Pakistan's clash
Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shows 90.7% efficacy in trial in children
Belarus, Kazakhstan discuss joint efforts to maintain regional security
Georgia, Turkey to set up joint air force plant
TURKIC.World project presented at media forum of Turkic Council (PHOTO)
All news