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Potsdam Initiative: Biological Diversity 2010

Potsdam, March 17, 2007

Background Paper Facts on Biodiversity
Environment Ministers Agree on a Potsdam Initiative on Biological Diversity

1) The economic significance of the global loss of biological diversity

In a global study we will initiate the process of analysing the global economic benefit of biological diversity, the costs of the loss of biodiversity and the failure to take protective measures versus the costs of effective conservation.

2) Science

We will strengthen the scientific basis for biodiversity and are committed to improve the science policy interface. In this context we will support the ongoing consultative process on an international mechanism for providing scientific advice (IMOSEB).

3) Communication Education and Public Awareness

Building on existing endeavours we will explore the development of a "Global Species Information System" which aims at gathering and making available information on all known species on earth and which serves as a tool for information and awareness raising for the wider public as well as for enhanced scientific cooperation.

4) Production and consumption patterns

We will enhance the integration of policies which involve governments, industries, civil society and consumers and implement an effective mix of mechanisms including:

In this context we will implement concrete initiatives with a special focus on timber and biomass such as voluntary harmonisation of procurement practices and standards to facilitate trade in sustainable timber and building on the 2005 Derbyshire initiative to tackle illegal logging.

5) Illegal Trade in Wildlife

Recognizing the serious threats to biodiversity from the illegal trade in wildlife, we will strengthen our cooperation to combat illegal activities within the framework of CITES and through effective partnerships between governments, international and non-governmental organizations, such as the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking.

6) Invasive Alien Species

In view of the increasing threat of invasive alien species to biodiversity and productive systems we will enhance our efforts in identifying, preventing and controlling invasive alien species and strengthen our international cooperation e.g. through the development of early warning systems, listing of species and information sharing. In this context we welcome and support the activities of the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP).

7) Global network of marine protected areas

We will intensify our research and enhance our cooperation regarding the high seas in order to identify those habitats that merit protection and to ensure their protection.

8) Biodiversity and climate change

We will aim for an improved linkage between climate and biodiversity policies. We will ensure that biodiversity aspects are equally considered in the mitigation of and the adaptation to climate change (incl. biomass) and the reduction of emissions from deforestation. We will strive for the reduction of trade-offs and the implementation of win-win solutions.

9) Financing

In co-operation with our partners we will commit ourselves to stepping up and better integrating biodiversity issues into development co-operation. In this context we aim for integrated planning and the implementation of win-win strategies and projects. We strive for a systematic integration of Environmental Impact Assessments according to national law.

We will approach the financial sector to effectively integrate biodiversity into its decision making and welcome the Equator Principles as an important benchmarking initiative.

We will enhance financing from existing financing instruments and explore the need and the options of additional innovative mechanisms to finance the protection and sustainable use of biological diversity, together with the fight against poverty. In this context we will examine the concept and the viability of payments for ecosystem services.

10) Commitment to 2010 and beyond

Focussing all our efforts on the achievement of the 2010 target of significantly reducing the loss of biodiversity in the coming years, we acknowledge the urgent need to halt human induced extinction of biodiversity as soon as possible. In this context we welcome the Countdown 2010 Initiative and the Alliance for Zero Extinction. We will develop and implement national targets and strategies in order to achieve the 2010 target and beyond.

Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Germany)

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