The last leg of the Conference of Parties (COP-11) stretched to early hours on Saturday as the different parties struggled to reach a consensus on the focal issue of resource mobilization for achievement of objectives set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
At the time of this paper going to print, the High Level Segment on resource mobilization had concluded their discussions, which mainly veered towards doubling of the financial assistance for the convention to roughly $13 billion by 2015 from the $6. 57 billion given by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-DAC) countries in 2010.
The decisions awaited approval of the plenary which met till early hours of Saturday.
The clause for 75 percent of developing countries making biodiversity conservation a national development priority was also accepted by the parties.
The enhancement of financial assistance will be based on an average spending over the period of 2006- 10 as the baseline.
However, the suggestion that developed countries double their contributions by 2015 to achieve the CBD targets had many detractors, the European Union and Canada being the most vocal of all.
However, Germany will continue to provide an additional amount of 500 million Euros annually from 2013 for the conservation and sustainable use of forests and other important ecosystems, due to Germany’s strong economy.
The developed countries were persistent in the demand that the funds being pledged be accounted for at the outset.
“EU has come down to an agreement and do not want to drag things on.
We definitely have a lot of queries as we are contributing to over 53 percent of the total funding.
We need to know where and how the money is going to be spent.
We are definitely working to reach a common ground,” said Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Environment.
The deliberations continued as the representatives debated financial pledges in the backdrop of the global economic slowdown.
In the first session of the final plenary of COP-11, the indecision on resource mobilization had held up the adoption of other agenda items including ecosystem restoration, earmarking protected areas for conservation as well national resource mobilization strategies.
The discussions, chaired by the minister of environment and forest Jayanthi Natarajan, had agreed to discuss these issues after the conclusion of the High Level Segment discussions on resource mobilization.