Greenpeace calls the Summit for Life on Earth a failure

WTO trade liberalization and lack of funding hijacked biodiversity

Press release - March 31, 2006
As the two-week long world summit on biodiversity drew to a close, Greenpeace described the outcome as major failure - a missed opportunity to stop the global loss of life in the world's forests and oceans.

"TheConvention on Biological Diversity is like a ship drifting without a captain tosteer it," said Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace Political Advisor onForests.  "The negotiations havefailed to chart a course to stop biopiracy, provide additional financing forprotected areas, establish marine reserves on the high seas and to ban illegallogging and trade."

Althoughthe president of the COP8, Brazil's environment minister Marina Silva, openedthe conference calling for legislation against biopiracy, Australia, NewZealand and Canada have argued against strict deadlines for the negotiations."This simply buys time for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies tosecure patents on life under the regime of the World Trade Organisation,"said Kaiser.

Attheir last conference, the CBD member States agreed to establish a globalnetwork of protected areas, in order to safeguard life on earth and prevent theindustrial exploitation of the world's biodiversity at the expense of futuregenerations. Money was promised by the rich countries to help make this happen.

"Bothrich and developing countries have not delivered on their promises, and theproposed global network of protected areas has not become a reality." saidPaulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign Coordinator.   "Instead, governments have put nature at risk and allowedit to become a private commodity."

At thebeginning of the conference, Greenpeace presented a roadmap to recovery, aglobal map of the last intact forests, and a network of marine reserves on thehigh seas (1), calling governments to take action. This challenge has beenignored.

Theconference has not been able to address a core business of every government,eradicating illegal and unsustainable logging and fisheries." The need fora moratorium on high seas bottom trawling, the most destructive form offishing, is now being blocked by a few key countries, who are prioritisingtheir industry interests over the protection of marine biodiversity" saidKaren Sack, Greenpeace Political Advisor on Oceans.

Despitethe exploitation of the Amazon by illegal and destructive logging providingtimber products to internal and external markets, the Brazilian government hasblocked any meaningful collaboration at a regional and international level.

"Thisconference has been overshadowed by the announcement of the United States, thelargest contributor to the funding body for biodiversity, that it will halveits financial contribution," concluded Kaiser.  "Four years ago, world leaders committed themselves torescue life on earth by 2010. Many plans and programmes are in place, but thefinancial support for developing countries is not provided yet."

Greenpeaceis an independent, campaigning organisation that uses non-violent, creativeconfrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutionsessential to a green and peaceful future.

Other contacts: Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace International forests political advisor +55 41 96821411Paulo Adario, Amazon Campaign Coordinator, +55 92 81158928Karen Sack, Greenpeace International Oceans Political Advisor, +1 202 4155403Natalia Truchi, Greenpeace International Communications, +55 41 96771859

Notes: (1) For more information on the oceans maps see: http://oceans.greenpeace.org/highseas-report http://oceans.greenpeace.org/highseas-map For more information on the forest maps seehttp://www.intactforests.org http://www.greenpeace.org/forestmaps

Exp. contact date: 2007-03-31 00:00:00