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Preserving biodiversity amidst political uncertainty

by Jeet Akoijam
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The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted 20 points as short term plan at its conference at Nagoya which came to be known as The Nagoya Protocol and was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan and entered into force on 12 October 2014. In the COP-10 meeting, the parties agreed that previous biodiversity protection targets are not achieved which raised the need to come up with new plans and targets. The short term plan provides a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets, collectively known as the Aichi Targets. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets were included in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period adopted by the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the international legal instrument for “the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources” that has been ratified by 196 nations. Its overall objective is to encourage actions, which will lead to a sustainable future. The conservation of biodiversity is a common concern of humankind. The Convention on Biological Diversity covers biodiversity at all levels: ecosystems, species and genetic resources. It also covers biotechnology, including through the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. In fact, it covers all possible domains that are directly or indirectly related to biodiversity and its role in development, ranging from science, politics and education to agriculture, business, culture and much more. The CBD’s governing body is the Conference of the Parties (COP). This ultimate authority of all governments (or Parties) that have ratified the treaty meets every two years to review progress, set priorities and commit to work plans.
According to CBD’s Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report, none of the 20 ‘Aichi Biodiversity Targets’ agreed on by national governments through the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have been met. The world was supposed to meet these targets by 2020.
“At the global level, none of the 20 targets have been fully achieved, though six targets have been partially achieved,” the report said.   
These targets are about increasing awareness about the importance of biodiversity, incorporation of biodiversity values into local and national development and poverty reduction strategies, removal of incentives and subsidies which are harmful to biodiversity, sustainable production and consumption etc.
The targets were formed keeping in mind the underlying drivers for biodiversity loss and for setting benchmarks for improvements across drivers, pressures, the state of biodiversity, the benefits derived from it and the implementation of relevant policies and enabling conditions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of the relationship between people and nature and it reminds us all of the profound consequences to our own well-being and survival that can result from continued biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems,” it added.
Things are not much different back home. With the state leaders scrambling everywhere with the impending bye-election and the cabinet reshuffle obviously taking precedence over everything , the already declining civic responsibilities have gone for a toss, and if it were not for a few private bodies catering to waste management solutions in the city, the condition of Imphal city would have been rather deplorable, what with the much publicized ‘Save Nambul Campaign’ meeting the same fate as that of the umpteen projects and campaigns governments in the state have launched till date. The state government should make better efforts to delegate authority and fix responsibility so that projects and work should come to their scheduled completion without unnecessary delays or disruptions. Protection and preservation of our biodiversity should be considered as crucial as protecting the political interest of the leaders, if not more.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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