The tenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) [official website] on Saturday concluded its proceedings with delegates agreeing [press release, PDF] to the Nagoya Protocol. The protocol identifies 20 goals within five categories designed to protect biodiversity, including a 50 percent reduction in the extinction rate [NYT report] by 2020. Preservation targets are also established, expanding protected land areas to 17 percent from 12.5 and raising the percentage of protected oceans from less than one to 10. Additionally, the Protocol includes provisions for sharing scientific discoveries derived from plants or animals between advanced and developing nations. The conference was attended by representatives of the 193 of parties to the CBD, with 122 cabinet ministers and five heads of state conducting the most complex negotiations. With the help of financial support from the EU, France, Norway and USD $2 billion from Japan, the Protocol is expected to become effective in 2012.
India, a party to the CBD, continued its emphasis on environmental protection last week when it introduced a new court system [JURIST report] devoted solely to environmental litigation. India has actively maintained an emphasis on environmental issues at a time of rapid growth. In June Australia, another signatory to the CBD, initiated proceedings [JURIST report] against Japan in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] for breaching its international obligations by failing to eliminate commercial whaling. Curtis Doebbler, a professor of law at the University of Nablus, has called climate change, and the associated loss of biodiversity, the greatest threat to the rights of Africans [JURIST op-ed].