Statement by Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment, on the outcome of Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP12)

Source: European Commission (EC) i, published on Friday, October 17 2014.

European Commission


Brussels, 17 October 2014

Statement by Janez Potočnik i, European Commissioner for Environment, on the outcome of Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP12)

The European Commission welcomes the successful outcome of CBD COP12 and in particular the agreement reached on 2020 targets for the mobilisation of resources in support of biodiversity. The agreement reaffirms the political commitment made at COP11 in Hyderabad, India, to double international biodiversity-related resource flows to developing countries by 2015. This is a very ambitious target supporting the implementation of the Global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the achievement of the Aichi targets. The EU is fully delivering on these commitments. The 2014 EU accountability report on finance for development, published in July, indicates that biodiversity-related finance from the EU and its Member States to developing countries increased significantly between the period 2006-2010, when we spent an average of about €190 million, and 2012, when we contributed €289 million. This figure is estimated to go up to €300 million in 2013. Altogether, this puts us on a good track to achieve the Hyderabad target by 2015.

The agreement also introduces a specific target on the mobilisation of domestic financial resources, in recognition of the fundamental importance of national prioritisation of biodiversity policy. This is a major achievement, emphasising the need for policy coherence and mainstreaming at domestic level to deliver on the Aichi targets.

COP12 also reviewed progress towards the achievement of the Aichi targets and adopted a number of important decisions, which together comprise the so-called 'Pyeongchang Roadmap'. Among others, these relate to marine biodiversity, invasive alien species, climate change and biodiversity, ecosystem conservation and restoration, synthetic biology, and biodiversity and sustainable development. The Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 (GBO4), released at COP12, suggests that while the Aichi Biodiversity Targets are still within our reach, substantially greater efforts are required. More specifically, the global target for protected areas coverage is well on track, with 15,4% of terrestrial and 8,4% of the marine environment now protected for nature. The European Union’s Natura 2000 network of protected sites, covering over 18% of EU territory and over 4% of its marine area is contributing towards the global target.

The European Commission also welcomes the successful conclusion of the first Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing. This landmark treaty entered into force on 12 October 2014. The meeting focused on issues essential for the effective implementation and operationalisation of the Protocol.

Finally, the EC welcomes the adoption of the Gangwon Declaration on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development, in which the 194 Parties to the CBD underscore the importance of integrating and mainstreaming biodiversity into the post-2015 development cooperation agenda, including the future Sustainable Development Goals.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the government of the Republic of Korea for hosting the conference and having helped steer it towards a successful conclusion.

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