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EU Environment Ministers Prepare for Nagoya

14 October 2010: The Council of the EU Environment Ministers met on 14 October 2010, in Brussels, Belgium, to agree on a strategy for the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which will open on 18 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. 

In its conclusions, the Council singles out the strengthening of synergies between climate change, desertification and biodiversity policies as a key issue at COP 10. It supports, within existing resources and where appropriate, joint work programmes on issues of common interest among the Rio Conventions with a view to enhancing their coherent, cooperative, effective and cost-efficient implementation, and as a key contribution to, inter alia, climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience. The Council further stresses the need to: provide increased guidance to parties to enhance the efficiency of the Biodiversity Liaison Group 6; and ensure coherence among the targets contained in the CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020, other relevant targets set in international and regional agreements, and with the objectives of relevant UN agencies, so as to foster enhanced implementation of the relevant decisions of these bodies.

The Council also reiterates that a stronger relationship among the three Rio Conventions is crucial to reaching their objectives, as well as the development objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In this respect, it highlights the importance of comprehensive ecosystem-based policy approaches integrating, where appropriate, food security, poverty reduction, and sustainable social and economic development concerns. It emphasizes the opportunities provided by the CBD COP 10 and the Cancun Climate Change Conference to achieve progress on: the development and implementation of negotiated safeguards for biodiversity and the rights of indigenous and local communities under REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks); and possible links to biodiversity commitments under the CBD Strategic Plan. In addition, the Council reaffirms the mitigation and adaptation potential of resilient wetlands, oceans, forests, soils, peatlands and grasslands and other ecosystems, recognizing that conservation, restoration and sustainable use of these ecosystems often result in carbon emission reductions, carbon storage and increased adaptation potential.

The Council also discussed options to move beyond the 20% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target and assessing the risk of carbon leakage. In its conclusions, it requests the Commission to further elaborate on these options, and expresses the view that the roadmap for a safe and sustainable low-carbon economy by 2050, under preparation by the Commission to further develop and implement a long-term low-emission development strategy, should also inform this analysis. The Council therefore resolves to continue to examine options to move beyond the 20% GHG emission reduction target to be prepared to react to the ongoing international climate negotiations. [Conclusions on Biodiversity] [Conclusions on Climate Change]