A boost for biodiversity from the G8

27 April 2009 | News story

Environment ministers at the G8 meeting in Sicily sent a strong political message about biodiversity and climate change with the release of the Carta di Siracusa on Biodiversity.

The Carta di Siracusa includes promises to consider investments in green infrastructure and sets out the initial elements for a post-2010 biodiversity target.

Ministers also pledged to support the ongoing study “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” and recognized the key role that biodiversity and ecosystem services play in underpinning human well-being.

The Carta di Siracusa included a strong paragraph on the importance of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and combating illegal logging.

“We are delighted that the G8 has taken such a strong stance on biodiversity conservation and climate change, despite the current financial crisis,” says IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre. "It remains to be seen how these topics will be included in the G8 Heads of State Summit in July. IUCN will continue to work closely with its members and the Italian G8 Presidency to ensure that this happens.”

The G8 met in Syracuse, Sicily, from April 22 to 24. Environment ministers have been involved in the G8 process since 1992, but the topic of biodiversity was only introduced in 2007, with the launch of the Potsdam Initiative during the German G8 Presidency.

In 2008 the Japanese G8 Presidency ensured, through its Kobe Call for Action, that biodiversity remained high on the political agenda. The Syracuse G8 meeting used this foundation to prepare the ground for the UN International Year of Biodiversity in 2010 and for defining the framework for the post-2010 biodiversity target.

The Carta di Siracusa is supported by the G8 and 11 additional countries, as well as senior officials from relevant international organizations, such as IUCN and the United Nations Environment Programme.

To read the full Carta di Siracusa on Biodiversity, please click here.


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.