The road to Hyderabad was marred by economic recessions but it nevertheless ended on a positive note. It is imperative that nations do not follow the excuse of economic strains in reducing their commitments towards protection of biodiversity and mitigation of climate change issues. India now assumes the chair of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from this year on and it would be right perhaps to set up some good marine laws and strengthen capacity at the national level in this particular area. It would be in keeping with the spirit of the decisions reached at the CBD conference.
One of the reasons for neglecting our marine heritage can be attributed to the fact that humans do not inhabit it directly. While a number of laws have been drafted for the protection and conservation of terrestrial resources, the same cannot be said for the marine environment. Traditionally, the focus has been to strengthen capacity to mitigate forest and land degradation but the marine environment is a significant and fast eroding system which needs special attention. CBD, COP 11 agreed to “double resources for biodiversity protection by 2015”1.
Some of the decisions reached at the CBD, COP 11 are:
Marine areas falling outside national jurisdictions to receive funding for protection.
Hyderabad Call for Biodiversity Champions was launched in order to include support for strategic plan for biodiversity. India has pledged over US$ 50 million for the plan.
Parties agreed to list and classify marine species that are ecologically significant.
Research into negative effects of noise pollution on marine species from ships.
Concern on marine litter and the fragile coral reefs that face a real threat.
Increase in collaborative efforts and syncing efforts of CBD and REDD+
‘Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management’ to be established. Will help developing nation states in implementing CBD provisions.
To include biodiversity concerns while carrying out EIA’s for marine areas.
The Aichi targets and the strategic plan for biodiversity need funds which perhaps the CBD, Cop 11 aims to provide. This decade has brought forth the issue of biodiversity to the forefront. The focus now rightly needs to aim at conserving the marine species and the abundant resources that we get for the marine environment.