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Bringing agriculture into Climate Change commitments

Government officials, representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations are meeting at COP20 in Lima, Peru, to discuss a new global climate change agreement. Since the notion of agriculture is not on the agenda, The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) and other organisations working in agriculture and rural development are striving to establish formal arrangements for addressing agriculture within the next UN Climate Change negotiations. As week two of COP 20 gets into full gear, we urge you to join the online discussion by tweeting #cop20 or #foodsecurity.

Lima

6KEYISSUESStepping up the challenge: six issues facing global climate change and food security

To this end, on 7 December 2014, a special seminar, Stepping up to the challenge – Six issues facing global climate change and food security, was co-organised by CARE International, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to inform COP negotiators, global development planners and policy-makers. Dr. Olu Ajayi, CTA Senior Programme Coordinator, ARD Policy, presented one of the lead papers at the seminar. The African Union Commission (AUC), represented by Dr. Abebe Haile Gabriel, gave a keynote address at the event. CTA also invited individuals to chair some of the sessions during the seminar, including farmers’ representatives from the Caribbean and representatives of the ACP secretariat.

A hackathon event on climate-smart agriculture

One week earlier, CTA, the International Potato Center (CIP) and CCAFS organised a hackathon on Climate-Smart Agriculture to deploy ICT tools that provide better and easier access to climate information. These, enable stakeholders to manage climate variability and make better decisions, and bring solutions that will help farmers to reduce the risk of crop failure. CTA also facilitated the participation of youths from the Caribbean, as means to upscale the impact of the event and achieve an economy of scale.

Agriculture should be integrated into UN climate change negotiations

As expressed in a CGIAR blog on this topic, this year’s negotiations are “an important opportunity to bring agriculture into climate change commitments and activities and tackle issues related to agriculture and food security.” In fact, agriculture is expected to be higher up on the agenda at COP21, to be held in Paris next year. On that occasion, CTA, CGIAR and Farming First will team up to provide support and disseminate knowledge around the incorporation of agriculture within climate change negotiations. This builds on their efforts in 2013, when they jointly developed a Guide to UNFCCC Negotiations on Agriculture – Toolkit for Communications and Outreach.

Credit: CTA 

 

COP2O Week 1 Recap: Caribbean notes “small victories” and anticipates Ministerial decisions

Week two of COP20 is now underway in Lima, Peru. Here's a round-up of week one from  Sharon Lindo, International and Regional Policy Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.

The Caribbean Community continues to carve out a niche for itself in the Climate Change negotiations underway at COP 20 in Lima, Peru.  If the first week of COP20 were to be summed up in a few words, it would be one of celebrating small victories.  But any seasoned negotiator would caution against celebrating now.

The Alliance of Small Island States welcomed the call by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outcomes to inform the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform and other UNFCCC processes.  This augers well for CARICOM, who have always supported science-based methods to inform action in the negotiations.  The region looks forward to the use of the IPCC reports and other similar scientific processes to inform the 2015 Agreement.  Undoubtedly the Region is encouraged by this first step.

In addition, the Caribbean Community considers the decision on bunker fuels timely. Under this arrangement the IMO and CMO will be allowed to continue their work and report to the COP without having any immediate financial obligations.

There has been much discussion and variance in positions on the Co-chairs Decision Text.  While the current text does not offer all things to all Parties CARICOM believes that it contains enough substance for Parties to engage meaningfully.  This is especially important if guidance is to be given to commence work on the INDCs.

The Region is also looking forward to receiving the Revised Elements Text and the finalization of the Executive Committee for Loss and Damage.  CARICOM continues to advocate for a seat on the Committee for SIDS as the issue is of paramount importance to this group.

Small victories are being celebrated in Lima, but the region is treading carefully and looks with cautious optimism at the week ahead.  There are a few crucial items to be decided by the Ministers, including how to address the INDCs and whether these should only be based on mitigation, which is currently only supported by CARICOM.  The end of the next week will reveal whether CARICOM Ministers are able to hold its position and convince other delegations of its merit.

In typical COP tradition the next week will be a marathon for delegations.  By all accounts there still remains substantial work if countries are to meet the 2015 deadline.  The unified voice of small island states in the Caribbean Community and the wider alliance is essential in the days ahead if the Paris meeting will meet expectations.  Like the rest of the world, we are eagerly anticipating the final decisions of Ministers on Friday.

Save the date

Also read:

COP 20 to Lay Foundation for Paris 2015 Agreement

Finance for Climate Action Flowing Globally – Upwards of 650B in 2011-2012

Finance for Climate Action Flowing Globally – Upwards of 650B in 2011-2012

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Credit: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

 Finance for Climate Action Flowing Globally stood at $650 Billion annually in 2011-2012, and possibly higher
Annual public and private flows from developed to developing countries
 ranged from $40 to $175 billion
Dedicated multilateral climate funds - including UNFCCC funds – represented small shares during the same period, but are set to rise with the recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund
 amounting to nearly $10 billion
There is relative uncertainty in the global figures in part due to data gaps and other limitations, but efforts to improve the quality of measurement and reporting of climate finance flows are under way

Hundreds of billions of dollars of climate finance may now be flowing across the globe annually according to a landmark assessment presented yesterday to governments meeting in Lima, Peru at the UN Climate Convention meeting.

The assessment – which includes a summary and recommendations by the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance and a technical report by experts – is the first of assessment reports that puts together information and data on financial flows supporting emission reductions and adaptation within countries and via international support.

The assessment puts the lower range of global total climate finance flows at $340 billion a year for the period 2011-2012, with the upper end at $650 billion, and possibly higher.

  • Support from developed countries to developing countries amounted to between $35 and $50 billion annually, with multilateral development banks (MDBs), climate-related Official development Assistance (ODA) and other official flows (OOF) representing significant shares of resources channelled through public institutions.
  • Funding through dedicated multilateral climate funds – including UNFCCC funds ($ 0,6 billion) – represented smaller shares during the same period, and do not include the recent pledges for the Green Climate Fund amounting to nearly $10 billion.

The assessment notes that the exact amounts of global totals could be higher due to the complexity of defining climate finance, the myriad of ways in which governments and organizations channel funding, and data gaps and limitations – particularly for adaptation and energy efficiency.

In addition, the assessment attributes different levels of confidence to different sub-flows, with data on global total climate flows being relatively uncertain, in part due to the fact that most data reflect finance commitments rather than disbursements, and the associated definitional issues.

The assessment is an important contribution of the Standing Committee on Finance that enhances transparency and clarity on climate finance flows – including information on international support to developing countries.

In addition, the assessment includes a set of recommendations by the Standing Committee on Finance to the Conference of the Parties, which, among other things, include ways to strengthen transparency and accuracy of information on climate finance flows through working towards a definition of climate finance and further efforts that would enable better measurement, reporting and verification.

The assessment also recognizes the need for understanding the impacts of climate finance associated with emissions reductions and activities to boost resilience to climate change.

The 2014 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows has been prepared by the Standing Committee on Finance following a mandate by the Conference of the Parties. The 2014 report was prepared with input from a wide range of experts and contributing organizations that collect data on climate finance flows.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said: “Finance will be a crucial key for achieving the internationally-agreed goal of keeping a global temperature rise under 2 degrees C and sparing people and the planet from dangerous climate change”.

“Understanding how much is flowing from public and private sources, how much is leveraging further investments and how much is getting to vulnerable countries and communities including for adaptation is not easy, but vital for ensuring we are adequately financing a global transformation,” she said.

“I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Finance and the numerous experts and organizations who have contributed to this important assessment. It provides a baseline and a foundation upon which future assessments and more importantly future climate action can be refined and focused,” said Ms. Figueres.

“This first biennial assessment represents a milestone of the work of the Standing Committee on Finance. It is an important information tool for Parties to the Convention that provides a picture of climate finance flows and how they relate to climate actions, including the objectives of the Convention” said Standing Committee on Finance co-chairs Diann Black Layne and Stefan Schwager.

“Going forward, the Standing Committee on Finance will contribute further to improvements in the information on climate finance flows, including through collaborations with data collectors and aggregators,” they added.

More Facts and Figures from the 2014 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows Report:

  • Global total flows: Most climate finance in 2011/2012 is raised and spent at home–in developed countries 80 per cent of the funds deployed for climate action are raised domestically.
  • The same pattern is seen in developing countries where just over 71 per cent comes from national sources
  • Around 95 per cent of global total climate finance is spent on mitigation or cutting emissions with 5 per cent on adaptation.
  • Subsidies for oil and gas and investments in fossil fuel-fired generation are almost double the global finance for addressing climate change
  • Flows from developed to developing countries: Multiple sources were involved in providing funding to support climate action in developing countries ranging from Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to multilateral climate funds – including funds administered by the Operating Entities of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.
  • For example, finance from MDBs is around between $15 and $23 billion annually; multilateral climate funds including via the GEF were about $1.5 billion, including those linked to the UNFCCC at about $0.6 billion a year.
  • 48 to 78 per cent of finance is reported as fast-start finance (2010-2012), in Biennial Reports (2011-2012), through multilateral climate funds, and through MDBs supports mitigation, or other/multiple objectives (6 to 41 per cent)
  • Adaptation finance in the same sources ranges from 11 per cent to 24 per cent.

Notes to Editors

The assessment has tried to identify the flows to various sectors and initiatives–real precision in this area will have to await future assessments and the numbers need to be treated with caution.

Adaptation Investments Unclear

Assessing investments in adaptation is particularly difficult often because they can form part of a larger project such as an investment in a port of water supply system.

Meanwhile, there is also no universal operational definition of what constitutes adaptation and in addition publicly funded adaptation actions within countries–both developed and developing–is rarely reported or available.

As a result, flows from developed to developing countries are not really known with precision.

The biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows can be found on the UNFCCC website.

About the UNFCCC

With 196 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

Credit: UNFCCC Press page

Follow UNFCCC on Twitter: @UN_ClimateTalks
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres on Twitter: @CFigueres
UNFCCC on Facebook: facebook.com/UNclimatechange

Global Governance: The Intersection of Human Security and Justice

The Hague Institute for Global Justice and The Stimson Center are co-hosting a breakfast Expert Consultation on “Global Governance: The Intersection of Human Security and Justice” on 9 December 2014 from 08:00am – 10am at the Ausan Gate Meeting Room, Hilton Lima Miraflores in Peru, in connection with the work of the Commission on Global Security, Justice, and Governance.

The Commission is composed of a select group of eminent statespersons and public intellectuals and co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Foreign Minister of Nigeria Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari. A chief goal of the Commission is to issue, in June 2015, a focused set of global policy and institutional reform recommendations in advance of the September 2015 United Nations’ 70th Anniversary Summit in New York and the December 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference.

In addition to seeking expert views from Lima Climate Change Conference participants, the consultation will present research findings from four background papers on climate governance and technological responses. For your reference, we have attached the consultation program (which will include breakfast). The expert consultation will be chaired by Commissioner Mrs. Erna Witoelar (Founder of the Indonesian Environmental Forum and Former UN Special Ambassador for the MDGs).

In addition to the onsite Consultation, The Hague Institute and the Stimson  will be facilitating a the second E-consultation for the ‘Climate & People’ research track of the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance from January 12th to February 13th 2015.  The online consultation serves as a forum for climate governance experts to respond to and provide inputs for thought-provoking ideas for climate governance reform which will be presented to the Commission for consideration.

Climate governance experts are invited  to register for both consultations. Additional information can be requested from Ms. Manuella Appiah (m.appiah@thehagueinstitute.org).

Bookmark This: International Meeting of the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Community of Practice

EBA

International Meeting of the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Community of Practice

26-27 February 2015 – Lima, Peru

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) REGATTA and Practical Action Latin America are pleased to invite the members of the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) Community of Practice to apply for participating on an international meeting to be held on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 February 2015 in the city of Lima, Peru.

Objectives
The international meeting aims to strengthen the EbA community members’ network. For this, their participants will present and discuss different aspects of their experiences in EbA and will identify initiatives of mutual collaboration.

Participants’ profile
We are looking for the participation of members that have implemented EbA measures, of practitioners with possibilities of influence in relevant government and technical cooperation projects or programmes, and of those members that have contributed or participated in modules and/or webinars.

Content
The first day of the international meeting the main challenges of EbA measures implementation will be discussed through the presentation of community members’ experiences in parallel sessions. The second day will be centered mainly in the discussion of joint initiatives, sustainable mechanisms for the community and fellowship activities.

Application
The international meeting is open to all participants of the community of practice, but it will be possible to fund the participation of around 30 people. For those interested, please fill the application format and send it to info@solucionespracticas.org.pe by Friday 19 December 2014 (5 pm Panamá EST) with the subject “EbA Meeting Application”. Early applications will have better chances. Participants receiving funding will be paid transport, accommodation and food costs.

Candidates will be assessed based on the EbA experience they present, on their possibility to influence government and technical cooperation projects or programmes, and on their contribution to the EbA community so far. Any application received after 19 December 2014 will not be considered.

Those interested in participating in the meeting self-financing their costs should send the participation form completed to info@solucionespracticas.org.pe by Friday 16 January 2014 (5 pm Panamá EST) with the subject “EbA Meeting Participation”.

Timetable
Call                                              :           Friday 5 September 2014
Applications deadline             :           Friday 19 December 2014
Results                                        :           Friday 9 January 2015
EbA International Meeting    :           Thursday 26 and Friday 27 February 2015

12 countries ratify access and benefit-sharing treaty

UN Decade on Biodiversity

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization will enter into force on 12 October 2014 following its ratification by 51 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In the last weeks, 12 countries have deposited their instruments including Belarus, Burundi, Gambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Peru, Sudan, Switzerland, Vanuatu, Uganda, and today, Uruguay. Its entry into force will mean that the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol can now be held from 13 to 17 October 2014, concurrently with the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.

Ratification of the Nagoya Protocol by 51 Parties to the CBD represents a major step towards achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 16, which states that, “by 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation.”

The entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol will provide greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources, creating a framework that promotes the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge while strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use. Hence, the Protocol will create new incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being.

“Practical tools such as the Nagoya Protocol are critical for the sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity. I commend the Member States that have ratified this important international legal instrument. By fulfilling the promise made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, they have made a significant contribution to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda,” said Mr. Ban Ki­moon, United Nations Secretary-General.

H.E. Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment, Forests & Climate Change of India, said: “The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing translates and gives practical effect to the equity provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity. I am happy that this landmark treaty received the requisite number of ratifications during India’s Presidency of the Conference of Parties for its entry into force. I congratulate my counterparts for making this happen. A new era is now ushered in for implementation of CBD that would contribute to achieving sustainable development and a glorious future for all living beings inhabiting our mother Earth.”

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary for the Convention on Biological Diversity, said, “The Nagoya Protocol is central to unleashing the power of biodiversity for sustainable development by creating incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity while guaranteeing equity in the sharing of benefits.”

“Entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol means not only a big step towards achieving Aichi Target 16, but is an important step in mainstreaming biodiversity into sustainable development. I congratulate all Parties who have ratified the Protocol, and I invite others to do so in time to participate in the first meeting of the COP-MOP, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea,” he concluded.

The following Parties have now ratified or acceded to the landmark treaty: Albania, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Norway, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Samoa, the Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. While the European Union will be a Party to the Protocol, its approval of the Protocol does not count towards the 50 instruments required for entry into force.

Further information on becoming a Party to the Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/becoming-party/

Information about the Protocol, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at:

http://www.cbd.int/abs/about/default.shtml

Notes to Editors

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization was adopted at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2010, in Nagoya, Japan, and significantly advances the objective of the Convention on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources by providing greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources. By promoting the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, and by strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use, the Protocol will create incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being. The full text of the Nagoya Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/doc/protocol/nagoya­protocol-en.pdf.The list of signatories of the Nagoya Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/nagoya­protocol/signatories/.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 194 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a supplementary agreement to the Convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 166 countries plus the European Union have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal. For more information visit: http://www.cbd.int.

For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at david.ainsworth@cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at johan.hedlund@cbd.int 

Credit: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 

5th Petersberg Climate Dialogue

5. Petersberger Klimadialog

5th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, picture: BMUB / Thomas Köhler, photothek.net

The “5th Petersberg Climate Dialogue” commenced today in Berlin, Germany.

The two-day “Petersberg Climate Dialogue” is an informal conference that is in preparation of the UN climate summit. This year, the summit will take place in Peru. In the afternoon spoke newly crowned World Champion, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and her Peruvian colleague, President Ollanta Humala. The participants are from 35 nations. Decisions are not expected.

Credit: Horst Vogel, PhD, Head of Programme, Caribbean-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS)

Caribbean Climate Modellers & Scientists Participate in the VAMOS/CORDEX Workshop

WCRP CORDEXA contingent of Caribbean climate modellers and scientists recently participated in the VAMOS/CORDEX Workshop on Latin-America and Caribbean. The workshop was held at the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) in Lima, Peru ( September 11-13) and brought together an international community of regional climate modellers from South America and the Caribbean.

The workshop sought to:

 (i) pursue an initial assessment of the various CORDEX downscaling initiatives over the South American and Central American CORDEX domains;
 (ii) develop regionally focused vulnerability, impact and adaptation (VIA) user-knowledge; and
 (iii) identify stakeholders’ needs so as to support the science-based information required for climate adaptation, mitigation and risk management in the region.

The Caribbean was represented by members of the regional modelling consortium, including presenters from the Instituto de Meteorlogia (Cuba), the three campuses of The University of the West Indies (Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago), the Antom de Kom University of Suriname, and the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service.

The Caribbean presentations notably highlighted the coordinated and collaborative manner in which modelling is being undertaken within the region and the resulting science. The application of regional climate modelling in determining future flood risk at the watershed scale in the Caribbean was also a highlight.

The EU-GCCA project administered by the 5C’s provided support for the participating Caribbean scientists. Learn more about the VAMOS/CORDEX Workshop: http://www.cima.fcen.uba.ar/LAC-CORDEX/

To learn more about the work of the Caribbean regional modelling consortium, please click here and search for PRECIS (see examples below):

A Study of the Uncertainty in Future Caribbean Climate Using the PRECIS Regional Climate Change Mode

Climate Change in the Caribbean and the Challenge of Adaptation

Glimpses of the Future: A Briefing from the PRECIS Caribbean Climate Change Project

Regional Climate Modeling in the Caribbean

Workbook on Climate Change Impact Assessment in Agriculture

Global biodiversity awareness tops 75% for the first time

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The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is within the United Nations Environment Programme, says 75% of consumers surveyed worldwide are aware of biodiversity, while 48% can give a correct definition of the term biodiversity. These are some of the findings contained in the 2013 Biodiversity Barometer report launched today in Paris by the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT). Consumers in Brazil, China and France, according to the study, show a particular awareness about biodiversity.

“The Biodiversity Barometer is an important source of information on global trends in biodiversity awareness. The results not only demonstrate a growing consciousness, they also show that respecting biodiversity provides tremendous opportunities for business around the world” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary for the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Very high biodiversity awareness in China
This year’s special focus on China reveals interesting results: Apart from a very high biodiversity awareness (94%), Chinese consumers surveyed also show high knowledge of biodiversity: 64% could define correctly what biodiversity means. “The survey results do not come as a surprise. In recent years, the government as well as civil society organizations in China has undertaken tremendous activities for communicating and raising awareness of biodiversity issues” says Zhang Wenguo, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China.

Biodiversity offers branding opportunities
Responses to the question “What are the three brands you consider are making the most efforts to respect biodiversity?” were manifold and often country-specific: In Brazil, there is a clear leader with Natural (49%). In the USA, most mentioned food brands, including Kraft, Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s. UK has two leading companies: Bodyshop and CO-OP (23% and 20%). In France Yves Rocher, Nestle and Danone top the list, while in China the perceived leaders are Yili, Mengliu and Amway. “There are clear opportunities for brands to position themselves around the issue of biodiversity, and anticipate increasing consumer interest on this issue” concludes Rémy Oudghiri, Director of Trends and Insights at IPSOS.

Biodiversity reporting is growing, but still weak
“Today 32 of the top 100 beauty companies in the world refer to biodiversity in their corporate communications such as sustainability reporting and websites. This is considerably higher than in 2009, but much lower than what we found in the top 100 food companies” says Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Executive Director of UEBT. In 2013, 87% of consumers say they want to be better informed about how companies source their natural ingredients, and a large majority of consumers say they would to boycott brands that do not take good care of environmental or ethical trade practices in its sourcing and production processes.

Youth is the future of biodiversity
For brands interested in reaching consumers on biodiversity, the 2013 Biodiversity Barometer offers the following insights: Young people tend to have the highest awareness of biodiversity (80%), as well as more affluent and well-educated people. Traditional media remain by and large the key sources of awareness: 51% of all surveyed consumers learned about biodiversity through television, 33% through newspapers and magazines.

On the UEBT Biodiversity Barometer
The UEBT Barometer provides insights on evolving biodiversity awareness among consumers and how the beauty industry reports on biodiversity. It also illustrates the progress towards achieving the targets of the Strategic Plan of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and its results will be reflected in the next edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook as a midway point analysis of the achievement of those targets. Since its first edition in 2009, the global research organisation IPSOS, on behalf of UEBT, has interviewed 31,000 consumers in 11 countries (Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, UK and USA). In 2013, the biodiversity barometer survey was conducted among 6,000 consumers in six countries – Brazil, China, France, Germany, UK and USA.

The Union for Ethical BioTrade
The Union for Ethical BioTrade is a non-profit association that promotes the ‘Sourcing with Respect’ of ingredients that come from biodiversity. Members, which include many beauty companies, commit to gradually ensuring that their sourcing practices promote the conservation of biodiversity, respect traditional knowledge, and assure the equitable sharing of benefits all along the supply chain.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a subsidiary agreement to the Convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.To date, 163 countries plus the European Union have ratified the Cartagena Protocol.

The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal.

For more information visit: http://www.cbd.int.For more information, please visit: http://www.ethicalbiotrade.org. You may also visit: http://www.ethicalbiotrade.org and contact Union for Ethical BioTrade bia phone at +31-20-223-4567 or email using info@ethicalbiotrade.org
*** From the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

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