It is time to take real actions towards achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
- CBD Executive Secretary
“We cannot spare any time, particularly where the results of actions take time to manifest themselves” was a key point emphasized in a message delivered on International Day for Biological Diversity to the Delegates from the Guiana Shield countries attending the Biodiversity Corridors workshop at Iwokrama River Lodge and Research Center.
The message was read by Charles Besançon, Coordinator of the Convention on Biological Diversity LifeWeb Initiative on behalf of Mr. Braulio Ferreira De Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Mr. Dias posited that protected areas are a vital policy mechanism and management tool to protect and preserve the world’s natural, cultural, social and economic assets. He noted that the CBD Program of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) has been instrumental in advancing the protected areas agenda.
In the message, Mr. Dias explained that he had the pleasure of meeting with His Excellency, Mr. Donald Ramotar, the President of Guyana, and they discussed the need to speed implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in order to meet the 2020 deadline. “We agreed that the development of a biodiversity corridor in the Guiana Shield would be a very concrete activity to speed implementation and strengthen cooperation between governments.”
He further noted that the role of ecoregional approaches and initiatives are critical to achieving these goals and helping economically poor countries meet national obligations. He recognized the Guiana Shield Facility as an important regional initiative, which is managed by the United Nations Development Programme. He noted, “this initiative, working within the Guiana Shield Eco-region, adds value to national efforts in the area of biodiversity conservation, and promotes transboundary cooperation to address overarching environment problems such as transboundary pollution and fragmentation of habitats.”
“With only a recorded rate of 8% of its total land in protected areas, Guyana has great potential to increase and strengthen protection and I am hopeful that this workshop will be useful in this regard, thus helping the world to achieve Aichi Target 11 of a minimum of 17% of terrestrial and freshwater areas and a minimum of 10% of coastal and marine areas under protected areas by 2020.”
It is against this backdrop that he recognized the importance of linking local, national and regional actions to achieve global target such as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
It is encouraging to know that countries of the Guiana Shield are pursuing policies within the CBD framework that emphasize the importance of establishing biodiversity corridors to avoid landscape fragmentation and loss of species and habitats.
The CBD declared this year’s theme for International Day for Biological Diversity, Island Biodiversity, which was chosen to coincide with the designation by the United Nations General Assembly of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States to celebrate the contributions this group of countries has made to the world.
The workshop concludes on Friday May 23, 2014 where it is expected that an agreement be formulated to develop biodiversity corridors in the Guiana Shield.