Press Release

GEF and CBD join forces to raise awareness for the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity

June 24, 2009

Japan to host high profile event in Nagoya October 2010
Press Release 

The Global Environment Facility, (GEF) the largest multilateral donor protecting global biodiversity and a pioneer in supporting innovative tools and mechanisms to ensure sustainable conservation, will join forces with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to spur binding action by decision-makers to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity, stop species loss, and maintain vital ecosystem goods and services.

The GEF Council approved this week a special initiative designed to build global awareness and catalyze decisive action during the upcoming 2010 International Year of Biodiversity (IYB). Declared by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Year of Biodiversity is an opportunity for the global community to greatly expand awareness about the impeding biodiversity crisis and its crucial role in people's well-being. The IYB will also serve to reflect on our challenges as well as on the achievements to date to save it, and hopefully redouble our efforts to reduce the rate of its loss. As the financial mechanism supporting the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the GEF will work with its multitude of partners, including the private sector and civil society to increase global recognition about biodiversity and the need to harness unprecedented support and financial resources.
 

What we do now could well be the tipping point to finally galvanize a critical mass of decision makers across all sectors needed for harnessing decisive action to reduce and halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services globally,” said Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF.

During the IYB, the GEF, in partnership with the CBD and other partners, will ensure that a series of strategically planned forums and events delve deep into the most promising solutions to promote biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use. The internet will also constitute a prime medium for the discussion, mobilization and outreach initiatives, also encouraging the participation of civil society organizations, and indigenous and local communities. The initiative will also target the private sector for its ingenuity and transformative power, looking for new ways to bring sustainably produced goods and services into the mainstream of the market. Finally, the IYB will engage with some of the best minds in the field of communications to help customize the key messages on the plight of biodiversity to the appropriate sectors.

We look forward to working with the GEF which has an excellent track record of conserving biodiversity, promoting sustainable use, and catalyzing private investment in the developing world with a wide range of partners to promote innovative solutions to reduce the threats to biodiversity,” said Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. “Our collaboration comes at a critical time as the year will be the beginning of the dialogue on stakeholders on the steps and targets to be set in a post-2010 world.”

 

"We welcome this initiative as an important milestone on the road to Nagoya, Japan, where the CBD 10th Conference of the Parties of the CBD will be held in 2010. We also look forward to working with the GEF and CBD to showcase this event during the IYB," said Hiroshi Takami, Director for Development Issues, Japan Ministry of Finance and a GEF Council member. “The celebration of the IYB and CBD COP10 in 2010 provides an excellent opportunity to raise global awareness on the ongoing global efforts to stop species loss and maintain ecosystem services that provide food, water, and materials to human societies."

 

Under the terms of the Convention, parties have pledged to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth.

 

About the GEF
The GEF unites 178 countries in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment.

 

The GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $8.3 billion in grants and leveraging $33.7 billion in co-financing for over 2,200 projects in over 165 countries. For more information contact Maureen Lorenzetti at +1 202 473 8131; email mlorenzetti@thegef.org  or Christian Hofer at + 1 202 458 0936; email chofer@thegef.org.  
 

About the CBD


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits from utilization of genetic resources. With 191 Parties, the CBD has near-universal participation among countries committed to preserving life on Earth.

 

The CBD seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The headquarters of the Secretariat of the Convention are located in Montreal. For additional information, please contact Marie Aminata Khan at +1 514 287 8701; email: marie.khan@cbd.int  or Johan Hedlund + 1 514 287-6670; email: johan.hedlund@cbd.int.