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UN Biodiversity Boss Says Convergence with Carbon Markets Could Turn REDD+ Into Win-Win for Species

Ben Dappen

In 2002, the United Nations set out 20 targets to halt the decline of biodiversity by the end of this year – none of which have been met. Delegates to UN biodiversity talks in Nairobi are hammering out new ones, and CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf tells Ecosystem Marketplace why he believes this time will be different.

In 2002, the United Nations set out 20 targets to halt the decline of biodiversity by the end of this year – none of which have been met.  Delegates to UN biodiversity talks in Nairobi are hammering out new ones, and CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf tells Ecosystem Marketplace why he believes this time will be different.

Click to hear the Full Interview with Ahmed Djoghlaf

Third in the series “Building the Biodiversity Marketplace”

19 May 2010 | Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) is not just an idea,” said Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). “It’s being implemented in countries like Costa Rica, and it’s demonstrating that biodiversity is good business.”
 
He was speaking with Ecosystem Marketplace at his Nairobi office on the fringe of negotiations to agree on new – and, he says, achievable – targets for reducing the loss of biodiversity over the next decade. In a wide-ranging interview, Djoghlaf discussed the lessons learned from past failure, the role markets can play in helping to avoiding repeating it, and the necessity of including the private sector and local governments, as well as non-governmental organizations and civil society in a future framework.
 
“The challenge going forward is not just to adopt targets, but to ensure that what is adopted is integrated as a national priority,” he said. “We need to make sure that the post-2010 target is all-inclusive.”

Unifying Carbon, Biodiversity, and Desertification

Such inclusion, he said, also means bringing the three Rio Conventions into synch with each other.
 
“There is this proposal, which the secretariat fully supports, and which I hope the governments support, to have a joint work program to be adopted by government and implemented at national level between the three Rio Conventions: the Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biodiversity, and the Convention on Desertification and Soil,” he said. “It’s the best way to implement REDD+.”
 
Indeed, he added, convergence of the three Conventions offers the best hope for slowing – and perhaps reversing – both climate change and species loss.
 
“The climate change agenda will never be fulfilled without biodiversity,” he said. “Likewise, the biodiversity agenda will never be met without addressing climate change.”
 
That’s a message he plans to hammer over the next two years, as the world gears up for the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit – along with the economic importance of biodiversity as investment in resource resilience.
 
“Biodiversity is development, and this is not recognized by the governments,” he said. “They see it as an aesthetic issue: as parks and greenness … and we hope that involving the market mechanism as has been done in climate change will also assist us to meet the challenge.”
 
Click the link below to hear the full interview:
 
Listen to the Interview with Ahmed Djoghlaf
 

 
Steve Zwick is Managing Editor of the Ecosystem Marketplace. He can be reached at SZwick@ecosystemmarketplace.com.
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Ben Dappen has worked with Forest Trends since November 2000 as Webmaster and IT Associate, and also provides design and publishing support. He also serves as a web developer for a number of Forest Trends' partners, including the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and Ecoagriculture Partners. Ben graduated from Reed College in 2004 with a History degree.

Please see our Reprint Guidelines for details on republishing our articles.