"Biological diversity: urgent need for enhancing international cooperation". Recommendations of the Forum on the meeting of the heads of G8 countries in St. Petersburg in July 2006
3-4 July 2006, Moscow, Russia
We, participants of the Civil G8 forum, welcome the efforts of G8 countries to urgently turn their attention to global problems related to conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. In particular, we applaud the joint efforts to combat illegal logging, which was addressed by G8 leaders in 2000 in Okinawa (Japan) that resulted in the new international mechanism known as FLEG. We ask G8 leaders to build on this success and by turning their attention to the future of biological resources and critical ecosystems.
The world’s diversity of biological resources secure livelihoods of billions of people, including in G8 countries and provide critical ecosystem services such as clean water and food. Yet, according to the WWFs Living Planet Index, we are still losing both ecosystems and services they provide at an accelerated speed. The natural capacity of the planet to absorb human influence is rapidly diminishing. With such a trend continuing we face the threat of disruption of global balance secured by the natural ecosystems services causing enormous economic and social losses in near future as documented in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
We call on immediate actions to be taken to reverse this trend and ask G8 leaders to:
1. Be more proactive and enhance their cooperation within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity to achieve 2010 targets, including implementation of the Convention’s Programme of Work on protected areas. Provide sufficient and adequate resources for its implementation in their own territories and to assist developing countries and countries in transition to do so.
2. Further support development of environmental management systems based on the principles of ecosystem approach with special attentions to the analysis of the results and recommendations of Millennium Ecosystem Assessment by UNO. Provide for development and implementation of tolls to ensure full participation of indigenous and local communities in decision making related to use of natural resources on their territories.
3. Adjust policies on perverse subsidies and other economic regulations in a way which would exclude promotion of unsustainable use of biological resources.
In particular, revise EU policy on subsidising fishing fleets of its member states and avoid such subsidies by other developed countries since fish resources are already heavily overexploited.
4. Initiate international agreement within the framework of Convention on Biological Diversity to promote continuous provision of ecosystem services.
Such agreement should account for different ecological footprint of countries a well as for their contribution to the provision of ecosystem services and may entail financial and economic mechanisms similar to those of Kyoto Protocol to UNFCCC.
5. Introduce measurements of environmental components of sustainable development as of important natural capital and introduce system of incentive measures for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Assessing progress towards sustainable development urgently requires reliable estimates of its ecological component. Currently only economic (e.g., GDP) and to some extent social (e.g., level of poverty, education) parameters are valued. There are some examples of aggregated estimates of ecological component of sustainable development (e.g., the World Bank sustainability index, Living Planet Index, Ecological Footprint, “green” GDP), but they are not yet integrated in global and national progress assessments and decision-making.
6. Prevent implementation of large-scale development projects (including those of trans-boundary and international significance) in areas of crucial importance for conservation of biodiversity.
7. Address marine environmental issues in the G8 priority agenda with particular emphasis on fisheries, exploitation of resources along shelf and establishment of a representative system of marine protected areas.
8. Commit to increasing international financial support for conservation of biodiversity particularly through the Convention on Biological Diversity, Global Environmental Facility and to integrating environmental sustainability in to official Development Assistance.
9. Further develop international mechanisms and processes of assessment, monitoring and control of environmental impact on environment and natural resources through inter alia Espoo and CITES conventions, the FLEG process, global network of biosphere reserves, Integrated Water Resources Management.
10. Provide assistance to rise public awareness and realisation of educational programs in the area of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity within the framework of UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
The civil society pledges that it will mobilise its intellectual and fundraising resources to provide support to such initiatives.