An estimated 5,000 delegates from all over the world have gathered in the historic Indian city of Hyderabad to find solutions to the most pressing issues facing biodiversity conservation.
The 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 11) was officially opened on Monday 8 October by Mr Hoshino Kazuaki, representative of the Ministry of Environment, Japan and Mr Ryu Matsumoto, former Minister of Environment who handed over the presidency to Ms Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
In her opening remarks Ms Natarajan stated the need for all parties to mobilize resources to achieve the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets which are part of the strategic plan agreed at COP 10 in Nagoya, Japan in 2010.
"We have been provided a singular opportunity to collectively decide the allocation of resources to generate momentum to achieve the Aichi targets - expenditure on biodiversity needs to be looked at as an investment for future generations and not as costs".
CBD Executive Secretary Mr Braulio Ferreira de Souza stressed the need to put energy and resources into implementing the Aichi targets. He drew on the links between the global business sector and the Aichi targets:
"I urge you to mobilize the financial resources to enable developing countries to achieve the 2020 targets," he said. He also called for the implementation of at least half of the targets by 2015 if significant progress were to be achieved by the end of the decade.
Speaking at a side event on IUCN's contribution to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Jane Smart, Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group remarked that the IUCN knowledge products support the implementation of the 2020 Aichi biodiversity targets which underpins the entire IUCN work programme for 2013-2016.
The conference runs from 8 - 19 October.