Developed, developing world divided on finances

Published: 19th October 2012 10:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th October 2012 10:02 AM   |  A+A-


The Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity has reached the last day of deliberations and discussions but it does not quite look like there has been any progress on the discussions involving resource mobilisation.

The developed countries and the developing countries are still poles apart on the issue. With the EU and a few other developed countries being firm on their stance, developing countries are struggling to get their agenda across. Delegates from the developing countries sounded disappointed with the situation.

A delegate from an African country, on condition of anonymity, said, “Though there is a promise of some monetary commitment from Japan, the European Union has cited economic slowdown post CoP-10 as the reason for not loosening its purse strings. The indicators for resource mobilization which have been established in the framework of the Nagoya protocol are too narrow. The ongoing discussions concentrate only on the public sector and private funding. This leaves out the collective actions, especially at the community level.”

Ndonye Parkinson, deputy director, multilateral environment agreements, ministry of environment and mineral resources, Kenya said there was zero progress. “It’s like we go one step forward and come two steps back. We have just been talking all day, and with just a day left, we do not want to take resource mobilisation to the next CoP.” He said, “EU has too many queries. They want a baseline budget to be announced, which we cannot give now. We are ready to agree for an interim budget, but they are not willing to give up. We are here to do business, but there has been no development.”

Ndonye also opined that now that the Indian government has taken a lead and allocated $ 50 million, from which other countries should take a cue and start pledging their numbers. “Things will definietly speed up, if there is political will. We are hoping for a positive outcome,” he said.

Agreeing with, Nana Somangre from Burkina Faso West Africa said, “Developed countries and European Union want to block the discussions. EU wants development, but does not want to release money. China and Japan might even soften their stand, but EU is very firm.” 

Commenting on the issue, Jonathon Davis, Minister of Environment, Liberia said, “The issue of generating political will has been a challenge for the implementation of the convention. There are high expectations that the parties will reach an interim arrangement but it is clear that the outcome for resource mobilization will be much lower than expected. Implementation of strategic plan will require realistic financial commitments. However, the estimates are not commensurate with the targets.”

He further added, “Though African countries are desperate to implement the convention, we want to remain a part of the mainstream discussions but also want to ensure that adequate finances are available for the same. As for the persistence of developed nations on a fixed baseline, there are enough studies and reports on which to fix a base.”

Chairman of the National Biodiversity Authority Balakrishna Pisupati, a part of the host country, refused to reveal any details on the consensus drawn.

“We have the summary ready, but right now nothing has been confirmed or finalised. By Friday afternoon, we will have a clearer idea.”

A Chinese delegate on condition of anonymity said, “During the discussions it has been clearly indicated that no targets can be achieved without the implementation of the strategic plan, and the implementation in turn depends on the mobilization of resources. The discussions will continue till a decision is reached.”


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