Reports and Announcements

COP 9 - Convention on Biological Diversity
Bonn, Germany, 19 - 30 May 2008

The ninth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was the last meeting of the Parties before 2010 – the decisive date by which heads of state and government want to significantly reduce the loss of biological diversity. The “Bonn Agenda for global biological diversity” adopted during the ministerial meeting identifies areas where progress is particularly important:

  • adoption of an internationally binding agreement on the fair sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of biological diversity,
  • continuation of the Life Web Initiative for a voluntary global network of protected areas on land and at sea,
  • mobilisation of financial resources, detailed assessment of the 2010 target and conclusion of a study showing the economic costs caused by destruction of nature.

Bonn also saw important decisions taken in other areas:

  • Illegal logging: Calls for further national and international measures against illegal logging and trade in illegal timber are far more explicit than before.
  • Marine protected areas: Delegates committed to establishing a global network of marine protected areas by 2012.
  • Biofuels: The Delegates agreed on sustainable production and use of biofuels, with a view to biodiversity conservation.
  • Genetically modified trees: It was agreed that without a risk analysis, Parties have the right to forego the use of genetically modified trees.
  • Climate protection and biodiversity: The cooperation between the CBD and the Framework Convention on Climate Change is to be improved.
  • Fertilisation of marine areas: COP 9 took a clear stance against activities for the artificial fertilisation of marine areas with the goal of carbon capture.

The German delegation also presented two new initiatives: the LifeWeb Initiative and the Business and Biodiversity Initiative. The LifeWeb Initiative facilitates the financing of new or existing protected areas in a swift and unbureaucratic way. With LifeWeb, Germany and other countries will provide additional funding, including for the financing of existing or new forest protected areas. In the framework of the Business and Biodiversity Initiative, 34 internationally active companies presented their voluntary commitment to make biodiversity conservation an important component of their future corporate and management policies.

In addition, the fourth meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety took place from 12 to 16 May 2008.

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Urban Biodiversity and the Role of Cities

“We can’t afford to shut nature out of the cities. It’s not just a quality of life issue for city dwellers—it’s about protecting life itself.”Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological DiversityBonn, May 2008“

With more than half of the world’s people now living in cities, 191countries for the first time, discussed ways to promote biodiversity in an urban setting at the Biodiversity Conference that took place in Bonn, Germany in May 2008. Cities have long been viewed as major contributors to the pollution, consumption, waste and habitat loss that have contributed to the accelerating loss of biodiversity around the world. But in recent years, many cities have been at the forefront of efforts to conserve biodiversity resources within the urban setting. The Conference of Parties adopted, for the first time, a decision on cities and biodiversity—decision IX/28. This decision encourages the 191 Parties to the Convention to recognize the role of cities in national strategies and plans, and invites Parties to support and assist cities in implementing the Convention at local level.

Indeed, one of the greatest achievements of the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties is
the recognition that the implementation of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity requires the full engagement of cities and local authorities.

A plan of action on cities and biodiversity will be submitted to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in October 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity. A Nagoya Summit on Cities and Biodiversity will be convened during the meeting.

Fifty mayors, from 30 countries, representing over 100 million urban dwellers met in Bonn on 26-27 May 2008 the under the theme “Local Action for Biodiversity” to underline the importance of urban biodiversity. The Mayors at the conference and urban experts discussed ways to incorporate biodiversity into the urban context through projects to protect water supplies, treat sewage, manage garbage, provide recreational facilities, and conserve biodiversity-rich areas adjacent to cities.

The full text of the decision on Cities and Biodiversity is available at

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