The Ministers of Environment from all over the world gathered today in Kuala Lumpur during the Summit for Life on Earth-the UN meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As environment negotiations reach a critical stage it is up to the elected representatives of governments to ensure that this meeting does not become another failure.
"The global crisis currently facing the planets forests and
oceans needs to be addressed immediately," said Martin Kaiser of
Greenpeace. "The agreements made by the heads of state in
Johannesburg at the Earth Summit 2 years ago are wavering. The
Ministers must agree on strong action to stop the loss of plants
and animals around the globe. The future of animals such as the
Great Apes hangs in the balance."
The Summit for Life on Earth must address three major issues if
it is to be considered successful in preventing the destruction of
biodiversity in the world today. Delegates to the CBD must make a
strong commitment to immediately implement a world-wide network of
protected areas that respects the rights of indigenous and local
communities. The representatives of the rich, industrialised
nations must provide the economic resources to support developing
nations in implementing these areas. And, all the parties must
establish ongoing monitoring and reporting of the implementation of
According to Greenpeace estimates, there is currently a US$25
billion shortfall to effectively implement a global system of
protected areas. "Only by providing the money needed, can we ensure
that our current wealth of biodiversity will remain for generations
to come. Governments today must start with emergency funding to
address the urgency of the current situation, " added Kaiser.
Greenpeace is highlighting the plight of the world's last
remaining ancient forests and the depletion of the oceans during
the Summit for life on earth-the UN meeting of the Convention for
Biological Diversity-currently being held in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia. Greenpeace is urging governments to protect life in all
its diversity, indigenous people's rights and cultural variety by
providing money for protection of life on land and sea. World
governments must also ban large scale industrial activity in all
sensitive areas and establish a network of land and marine
protected areas with effective law enforcement and management.
As part of their campaign, Greenpeace will present the 2004
Global Assassin of Life on Earth award to the government hat has
done the most to bring an end to biodiversity on our planet. The
inauspicious trophy features a lifelike model of planet earth with
a large axe buried in it, symbolizing the impact the award winner
is making to the future of life on earth.
On the day of the arrival of the Minister for the Environment,
the nomination for this award was given to all the governments of
industrial nations who have exploited the world's forests and
oceans for centuries and who mistakenly believe that we can protect
biodiversity free of charge. "If the Ministers really believe this,
perhaps they would also be willing to forego their salaries for a
year?" said Kaiser. Other notorious nominees have included Chile,
Australia and the US (1)
Notes: (1) The first nomination went to Chile for the convoluted and regressive comments that the delegate made in Working Group 1 stating that the protected areas programme of work was not yet "mature", and should return to SBSTTA.