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- G8 environment ministers adopt deal on biodiversity beyond 2010
The G8 environment ministers meeting, held in Syracuse on 22-24 April 2009, concluded with the adoption of the Syracuse charter to extend the deal on biodiversity loss for the period after 2010. The new declaration states the link between climate change and species extinction and emphasises the economic value of biodiversity, particularly in developing countries. The G8 meeting grouped for the first time nine developing economies, including Brazil, India and China
- Commission proposes law against trade of illegal timber
On 17 October 2008 the European Commission tabled a proposal that aims at combating illegal timber trade. Timber under the new rules could be sold in the internal market if its legal origin is ensured. Traders will have to exercise “due diligence”, by confirming that the timber was harvested in accordance with the laws of the country of origin. Those not obeying the rules can face financial penalty. Compliance with the proposed regulation could occur by ting up separate due diligence systems, or joining an officially recognised "monitoring organisation", such as that established by the "Flegt" partnership agreement.
- Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
The ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held between 19 and 30 May 2008 in Bonn, Germany. Representatives of 191 participating states agreed on further combating biodiversity loss, by ting the target of a significant reduction by 2010. The conference agreed on a joint endeavour to promote biodiversity concerns and in particular deforestation issues to be included in the climate convention currently negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change. An international regime on access to genetic resources was agreed to be created, and a firm roadmap for the process of its creation was laid down. In order to provide financial resources for the ambitious goals, the Life Web initiative was created more than sixty states announced their intentions to contribute to the fund in only two days following its creation.
- Preserving biodiversity named as a Commission priority for 2009
On 19 May 2008 environment commissioner Stavros Dimas outlined the Commission’s environmental priorities before the European Parliament Environment Committee in Strasbourg. First and foremost, according to the Commissioner a particular attention will be paid next year to policies aiming at halting biodiversity loss in Europe by 2010 and significantly reducing global biodiversity loss world-wide. Measures will focus on the correct enforcement of Natura 2000 legislation and the implementation of the Biodiversity Action Plan. In the meantime, Ahmed Djoghlaf, utive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) opened the ninth biennial meeting of the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity on 19 May 2008 in at Bonn, Germany with a warning of the unprecedented rates with which the world's species are disappearing.
- IUCN and Shell present study on the relation between business and biodiversity
The conservation of biodiversity from a market-based approach is the topic of the joint report released by IUCN (International for Conservation of Nature) and Shell on 27 March 2008. The study sees the solution to address biodiversity-loss in enhanced efforts of market forces and cites examples of businesses that could profit from nature conservation, such as ecotourism. It calls for policy reforms to introduce a cautions conservation approach in suggesting to increase the number of commercial rewards for conservation and to institute higher penalties for biodiversity loss
- Natura 2000 Network extended
New sites were added to Natura 2000, the Network of over 26.000 protected areas occupying more than 20% of the total EU territory, in January and March. Ten new countries extended their list of protected areas in three bio-geographical regions: in the Alpine, Macaronesian, and on 28 March 2008 in the Mediterranean region. The legal basis for the Natura 2000 network comes from Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds and Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.