Biodiversity in Brazil / by Mark Langevin

From SECOM and the Presidency of Brazil

PRESIDÊNCIA DA REPÚBLICA

SECRETARIA DE COMUNICAÇÃO SOCIAL

As you may be aware, the eleventh conference of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP11), closed on October 19 in Hyderabad, India, concluding the latest two-year round of multilateral negotiations to help countries ensure that “biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy plant and delivering benefits essential for all people by 2050” – the agenda of the Convention’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan.

On behalf of the Secretariat for Social Communication (SECOM) of the Federative Republic of Brazil, I would like to share with you some information about the main agreements reached at COP11.

Brazil, one of the world’s most megadiverse countries, played an active role in the COP11 negotiations, on which final documents developed addressed a wide range of topics on biodiversity preservation, including resource mobilization and protected areas.

Among the agreements announced at COP11 were:

  • Rio +20 – Agreement to incorporate the outcome document of Rio +20 (UN Conference on Sustainable Development) in the text of the decisions of the COP of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP11), with emphasis on the recognition that poverty eradication, changes in consumption patterns, and production, protection and management of natural resources are the basic requirements for sustainable development.

 

  • Resource mobilization – International flows of resources devoted to biodiversity will double by 2015 and will at least maintain this level until 2020. By 2015, at least 75 percent of participating countries will have included biodiversity in their national development plans and priorities, and will have adopted measures to improve financing for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity.

 

  • Gender – The final document encourages countries to continue funding activities that promote equality between men and women in initiatives to protect and restore biodiversity.

 

  • Protected Areas – The conference recognized the importance of protected areas in order to achieve several of the Aichi Targets, including target 11, which provides minimum limits of protected areas - land and sea - to each country by 2020.  The creation of protected areas will help further goals such as the recovery of fish stocks, endangered species and restoration of degraded areas.

 

  • Indigenous and local communities – Land inhabited by indigenous and local communities can be recognized as areas that contribute to the conservation of biological diversity. Working within the limits of their national legislation, countries will engage their indigenous and local communities in this process, seeking their participation and prior informed consent. Progress was also made regarding capacity-building for indigenous and local communities.

 

  • Business – The Convention’s final documents invited companies to enhance their considerations of biodiversity and ecosystem services in their business activities.  These considerations are based, among others initiatives, on the recommendations of the study The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). Countries were also encouraged to incorporate the methodology and results of the TEEB nationally. Brazil has already begun implementing the TEEB initiative – a joint effort by the Ministry of Environment, Finance Ministry, and other institutions.

 

  • Marine Waters – The Conference will send information on Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) to competent national authorities and the United Nations. The information is intended to support the adoption of adequate conservation measures by the competent authorities. Each country has sovereignty over the EBSAS located in national waters and the right to decide on implementation of conservation initiatives in those areas.

 

  • Marine Water / Fishing – The Convention drew attention to countries that implement measures to minimize the impacts of fishing activities on marine biodiversity.   Guides were adopted to recommend activities that can minimize the impacts on marine biodiversity and marine spatial planning.

 

  • Climate – The Conference kept a moratorium on geoengineering experiments related to climate change, particularly fertilization of oceans. Decisions at the Convention require that these experiments be restricted to territorial waters and should be done on a small scale.

 

For more information about what Brazil is doing on a national level to promote and preserve biological diversity,

click here and download the fact sheet: Biodiversity in Brazil