Biodiversity losses are irreparable: world environment body

October 14th, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 14 (IANS) The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, which concluded in Barcelona Tuesday, has underlined that the cost of biodiversity losses are not only greater than those of the current financial problems in the global markets, but in many cases, they are irreparable, said a statement. “We have made substantial decisions here in Barcelona. We’re showing how saving nature must be an integral part of the solution for any world crisis,” said Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN director general.

“The clear message coming out of this meeting is that biodiversity underpins the well-being of human societies and their economies. But conservation can only succeed if we attack the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, and action is taken at the same time to reduce the impacts of that loss,” Marton-Lefèvre added.

Bio-fuels were a major focus as members of the world’s oldest conservation organisation called on the governments to regulate and manage bio-fuels to limit their potential impacts on people and nature.

A call was also made to develop guidelines and improve standards used when considering bio-fuels projects.

“The tide is turning in our favour, we have the scientific knowledge and we have the governmental willpower to put the solutions in place,” said IUCN’s new president Ashok Khosla.

“IUCN’s new programme means we can face the future with confidence.”

The IUCN programme 2009-12 provides the framework for planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the conservation work undertaken by the commissions and the secretariat for members.

“We will use IUCN’s knowledge and networks to influence decision-makers to secure a future for nature and better integrate biodiversity concerns into policies and practices of climate change, energy, development, human security, markets and trade,” said Marton-Lefèvre.

After a debate on the issue of IUCN’s involvement with the private sector, the global environmental body’s members agreed to support carefully thought out engagement with business.

The rights of vulnerable and indigenous communities received high priority as IUCN’s members called on governments to take into account human rights implications, in all conservation-related activities.

The congress saw the beginning of an ethical framework to guide conservation activities, where poverty reduction, rights-based approaches and “Do No Harm” principles can be applied to help redefine our relation with nature.

The global body also sent a clear message to the UN’s Climate Change Summit that will take place in Poland in December.

IUCN is demanding more specific goals in line with the Bali Plan of Action - calling for a 50 to 85 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 and keeping rises in temperature below 2 degrees Celsius - and actions on biodiversity, ecosystem services and livelihoods protection.

Over 8,000 specialists from the conservation community, governments, NGOs, academia, private sector, women and indigenous groups gathered in Barcelona for the 10-day conference to discuss the most pressing issues.

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