The Korea Herald


High-level meeting of U.N. biodiversity conference adopts 'Gangwon Declaration'

By 서지연

Published : Oct. 16, 2014 - 20:30

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A high-level meeting of a U.N. biodiversity conference ended Thursday, adopting a declaration that summarizes conservation initiatives and global development suggestions made during the three-week conference.   

The two-day meeting was organized as part of the 12th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which is underway in the eastern city of Pyeongchang, 182 kilometers from Seoul. It brought together some 20 heads of international organizations, including the United Nations Development Program and the Global Environment Facility and environment ministers from about 50 countries.

The 16-point "Gangwon Declaration" includes major issues of the conference such as "mainstreaming of biodiversity, Pyeongchang Road Map and science-technology cooperation," according to officials at the South Korean environment ministry.

The declaration urged the United Nations to make biodiversity a major issue in future discussions for setting sustainable development goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, a process

led by the U.N. that aims to help define the future global development framework that will succeed the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight global development targets, which come to an end in 2015.   

It also contains a message welcoming the "Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative" proposed during the conference by South Korea for the conservation of biodiversity in worldwide

border areas and the "Pyeongchang Road Map" scheduled to be adopted at the end of the conference on Friday.   

The 12th CBD meeting began on Sept. 29 to undertake a midterm review of the implementation of a 2011-2020 strategic plan for biodiversity with some 20,000 representatives from 124 countries attending.

Officials say the Gangwon Declaration is meaningful as it marks the fourth declaration that has been adopted during the meeting on the Convention on Biological Diversity so far.

   During the high-level meeting, participants pledged efforts to increase the world's awareness of the Nagoya Protocol that came into force on Sunday, officials said. The protocol is about access

to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization to the CBD.

   The CBD, informally known as the Biodiversity Convention, was adopted at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNECD) held in Brazil in 1992 to address environmental problems facing the planet.

   The multilateral treaty handling all aspects of biological diversity, including genetic resources, species and ecosystems, is one of the three U.N. conventions aimed at protecting the

environment along with the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification.   (Yonhap)