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Rich nations refuse to commit money to conserve biodiversity

Written By Krishna on Friday, October 19, 2012 | 4:54 AM

18 OCT, 2012

A day after PM Manmohan Singh kick-started the 'Hyderabad Pledge' by announcing $50 million for biodiversity conservation, the developed countries remained reluctant to commit money under the Convention on Biodiversity at the ongoing meeting.
HYDERABAD: A day after PM Manmohan Singh kick-started the 'Hyderabad Pledge' by announcing $50 million for biodiversity conservation, the developed countries remained reluctant to commit money under the Convention on Biodiversity at the ongoing meeting.

Environment and forests minister Jayanthi Natarajan continued parleys with key countries in order to get everyone on common ground by Thursday night at the meeting that has more than 180 country representatives in attendance.

Friction between the countries continued with African nations like Namibia taking the lead in demanding that the rich countries come true on the promises made in 2010 that they would pledge funds to save global biodiversity in 2012 at Hyderabad.

The developed countries have instead demanded that firm 'baselines' be first developed, indicating how much funds are already deployed and how much more is required. While countries like India and China do not expect to receive money from the rich nations, smaller economies were miffed that the issue of a 'robust baseline' was being used to defer commitments made earlier.

Holding a media briefing on Wednesday, Natarajan said she felt confident that all contentious issues would be resolved by Thursday night, providing ample time on the final day - Friday - for countries to formally adopt the decisions as well as make political pledges on financial commitments. But she avoided pinning any interim financial target under the Hyderabad Pledge that might be met or committed at this meeting by other countries.

There were late night parleys on other issues besides funding. Whether subjects being dealt with by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should be considered under the biodiversity convention and to what extent remained unresolved. The developing countries apprehend that the rich nations would attempt to slip in elements to their advantage on issues like deforestation and geo-engineering under the CBD when they have been blocked at the UN climate convention.

Under the UN convention on climate change, a regime of growing and protecting forests for sequestering carbon has been formalized. The developed countries have argued that the impact of doing so on biodiversity should be monitored under the biodiversity convention which the developing countries have opposed.
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