The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) opened on 8 October 2012, in Hyderabad, India. The eyes of the world’s biodiversity community are on Hyderabad as Parties to the Convention tackle the pressing challenges faced in implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including mobilising sufficient resources to translate the Plan into concrete action. The new president of the CBD COP, the Indian Minister of Environment and Forests Smt Jayanthi Natarajan highlighted in her opening address that the resource mobilisation is the most important unfinished agenda item inherited from COP-10.
While there is a consensus that the resources currently mobilised to protected biodiversity across the world are only a fraction of what would be needed to implement the commitments under the Strategic Plan 2011-2020, different perspectives on how the necessary funds are to be mobilised persist. Overcoming these will be key to the success of the COP-11. During the first two days of the negotiations, some parties have argued that in the absence of an agreement, achieving the objectives of the Strategic Plan by 2020 will be impossible. Others warn that it would be a mistake for parties to delay activities to implement the Strategic Plan until an agreement on resource mobilisation is reached.
IEEP and UNEP-WCMC hosted a side-event on ‘Incorporating biodiversity and ecosystem service values into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs)’ on the first day of the COP. Preliminary findings of the project ‘Lessons learnt from incorporating the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into NBSAPs’ were presented, which IEEP and UNEP-WCMC are doing with financial support from Defra. The side-event offered an opportunity to some of the project’s case study countries (Federated States of Micronesia, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Guatemala, Norway and Vietnam) to share and discuss their experiences with other parties.