The Conference on Biological Diversity ended on Friday October 19th in Hyderabad. For the first time, there was as specific recognition of the importance of the active participation of workers and unions in the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems
This recognition means new spaces for engagement of trade unions in environmental policies, specifically related to biodiversity and its application, particularly in the national strategic plans for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The same decisions calls on Governments to support initiatives of workers and unions that promote the objectives of the Convention.
Unions came to Hyderabad to advance in their demands from last COP in Nagoya, specifically on the need to provide economic opportunities to the poor, to democratize decision-making and the positive message that is possible to create jobs and improve working conditions and at the same time, by protecting biodiversity. And this message was recognized by Parties to the Convention.
The main objective of the 137 delegates attending COP11 was to develop the agreement achieved in COP 10 Nagoya in 2010 about the definition of the mobilization, funding sources and mechanisms necessary to meet the Aichi Targets for 2010-2020 Strategy for Biodiversity (http://www .cbd.int/doc/strategic-plan/2011-2020/Aichi-Targets-en.pdf).
In Hyderabad, countries agreed to double financial resources directed to developing countries by 2015 compared to contributions made by developed countries in 2006-2010. Both public and private financial resources are recognized as valid. In order for developing countries to access to these resources, a number of conditions were imposed: at least 75% of the countries receiving this assistance should have incorporated biodiversity in national policies (and national budgets) by 2015; developing countries should have prepared financial plans for biodiversity by the same year; at least 30% of them will have evaluated the ecological, cultural and socio-economic development of their ecosystems.
However, the agreement is far from the real needs of financing of developing countries. First of all, unfortunately commitments do not guarantee their fulfillment as we are seeing in other agendas. Secondly, and of special concern, the doors have been decisively opened to the private sector participation in the provision of the resources. It is urgent and necessary that public authorities guarantee that this will not entail privatization and divestment of natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity of developing countries. To this end, participation and transparency in all processes involving private interests should prevail to ensure the general interest is upheld. The union delegation encouraged Governments to strengthen their public systems in relation to the management and investment of natural resources and ensure that these resources are owned by all.
The world’s leading retail labels commit to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh before the midnight deadline. The Accord now covers more than 1000 Bangladeshi garment factories. Implementation starts now!
Civil society groups attending the Rotterdam Convention conference in Geneva are expressing grave alarm that the Convention has been hijacked by the asbestos industry, which is determined to prevent the environmental and health protections of the Convention from being implemented.
Today in Geneva the inclusion of the substance in the list of hazardous substances that needed to be monitored for export is discussed. 7 countries are blocking: Kazakhstan, Krgyzstan, Ukraine, Russia, India, Zimbabwe and Vietnam.
Europe’s crisis is manifold: while newspapers focus on public deficits and debt, Austerity policies and wage cuts are boosting poverty and inequality in many parts of Europe
The decision was adopted in response to EU Commission consultation on unconventional fossil fuels in Europe