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14 July 2008 - G8 leaders affirm importance of biodiversity conservation      

G8 leaders affirm importance of biodiversity conservation

Sydney, 14 July 2008                                            

Humane Society International (HSI) welcomes the G8 Leaders’ commitment to biodiversity given in their Declaration from Hokkaido Japan last week.

Global attention is focused on the climate emergency and the G8 leaders appear to have recognised that biodiversity loss is a major contributor to the crisis and stemming it should be a major part of the solution. Deforestation and forest degradation is responsible for an estimated 17-25% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.  

The G8 Leaders have declared that:

Recognizing the crucial importance of the conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity as highlighted at the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Bonn, we share the concerns regarding the vulnerability of biodiversity. We endorse the Kobe Call for Action for Biodiversity and reiterate our commitment to increase our efforts to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss significantly in order to achieve the globally agreed 2010 Biodiversity Target, including by reducing threats from the illicit trade in wildlife. We will promote a co-benefits approach that will lead to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity as well. We note the importance of improving the interface between research activities and the public and policy makers.

HSI has been encouraging the Rudd Government to take centre stage in promoting biodiversity co-benefits in strategies to address climate change, such as the mechanism being negotiated under the Bali Road Map for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).

“HSI is urging Ministers Garrett and Wong to fund research to identify areas of the planet that are priorities for both carbon and biodiversity conservation so that governments and private corporations investing in carbon offset and emission trading schemes know where to put their money for the best returns to the planet,” said Nicola Beynon, HSI’s Senior Program Manager.

“As a mega-biodiverse continent, and neighbour to the biodiversity hotspot developing countries of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Australia is very well placed to be a global leader on this issue in the climate negotiations,” said Ms Beynon. “We look forward to positive engagement with the Government on biodiversity co-benefits as the negotiations on the Bali Road Map continue”.

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