In Lewis Carroll’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Alice starts her adventure when she falls down a rabbit hole into a world of fantasy. Stepping into the Convention of Biological Diversity’s meeting in Nagoya is an experience not dissimilar to Alice’s, writes Bill Jackson, IUCN Deputy-Director General.
People are rushing here and there, you hear a multitude of languages and an even greater variety of points of view and you are left agog when trying to work out which meeting or side event you should next attend.
The opening of the CBD’s Conference of the Parties - or CoP - is ripe with expectations that this meeting will set the course for saving the planet’s precious biological diversity in the coming years. Yet, behind all the different positions and firm convictions, there seems to be an underlying sense of unity of purpose: we must achieve the noble objectives of the CBD — to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity and to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of its benefits.
Today I had the pleasure of meeting a group of young professionals who are poised to carry on the work we have started and their message to CoP is simple: approve the strategic plan, work towards finding ways to better fund conservation and make sure equity has a central role.
Well, I am off to find the Mad Hatter….