CBD COP11: Multilateralism essential to supercharge conservation efforts

Rio Conventions Pavilion TV, CBD COP11 (17/10/2012) – Russell A. Mittermeier PhD, President of Conservation International, gives his opinion on progress made so far in Hyderabad and why he thinks multilateral approaches are so important.

Mittermeier explains that since his initial attendance at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, he has attended four CBD conferences. He asserts his belief that CBD COP10 in Nagoya was one of most important conferences related to the environment ever to take place.

However Mittermeier also acknowledges the progress still to be made in CBD negotiations, noting in particular that the question of financial mechanisms was delayed until this meeting. At present he says that progress looks good but he is still worried that tangible financial commitments may not result from the summit.

Mittermeier recognises that biodiversity is an area in which relatively small amounts of money can have huge results, but he stresses that international agreement is needed to mainstream the issue and to achieve long term results.

Mittermeier emphasises that accounting for natural capital can do a lot to protect biodiversity. He is eager to remind us that ‘natural capital’ and ‘biodiversity’ are different words for the same thing, even if they often produce very different emotional responses. He says that nations can undertake this kind of accounting independently but a multilateral approach will allow it to be much more successful.