Dear Minister Baird:
G8 Environment Ministers Meeting: Kobe, JAPAN 24-26 May 2008
Nature Canada firmly believes that the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit must set a new agenda by aligning actions on environmental sustainability, climate change and poverty reduction. As such, the Kobe Environment Ministers’ meeting has a crucial role to play.
Nature Canada has long recognized the important interconnections among climate change, biodiversity, and the sustainable use of natural resources. As confirmed by the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, healthy ecosystems provide vital services for human wellbeing, and the effects of climate change are already having an impact on these ecosystems and the human communities they support. We are pleased that the Japanese government has designated these critical issues as the main themes to be considered at the Kobe meeting.
The meeting is a timely and necessary next step in moving forward with the outcomes of the 2007 G8+5 Environment Ministers meeting and the Potsdam Initiative on Biological Diversity, which called for the integration of biodiversity into development planning, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the reduction of emissions from deforestation. The Potsdam Initiative also promised to enhance and explore financing instruments for the protection and sustainable use of biological diversity, together with the fight against poverty.
Actions to address climate change and its impacts can either enhance or erode ecosystems and biodiversity. Nature Canada believes it is crucial that measures to achieve biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation and poverty reduction reinforce and complement each other. We have developed five simple suggestions that will contribute towards this end and call upon you to promote and support them at the Kobe Environment Ministers’ Meeting. They are to:
1. Reaffirm that climate change mitigation measures must achieve co-benefits for biodiversity, especially those through reduced emissions through deforestation and degradation (REDD).
2. Clearly state that actions taken to support adaptation to climate change provide co-benefits for biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services by protecting and enhancing, rather than eroding, natural resources and biodiversity..
3. Require that the World Bank’s Climate Investment Fund, Strategic Climate Fund, Clean Technology Fund and all funds, programs and projects there under achieve the maximum co-benefits for biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystems services and poverty reduction through the sustainable management of natural resources in the planning, implementation and monitoring of climate change mitigation and adaptation plans and actions.
4. Strengthen collaboration between global institutions and civil society by requiring global institutions to develop mechanisms for the participation of civil society in the implementation of biodiversity and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, including schemes for reduced emissions through deforestation and degradation (REDD).
5. Reaffirm a commitment to a global study to analyze the global economic benefit of biological diversity, which will report to the tenth meeting of the parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010.
We ask you to ensure that these five points are included in the conclusions of the Chair of the Kobe Meeting and in the final communiqué of the G8 Summit.
The year 2008 is decisive. Two years remain to achieve the 2010 biodiversity targets, four years remain to develop a global framework that will tackle the causes and impacts of climate change, and eight years remain to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. These global goals and targets can only be achieved by aligning actions on environmental sustainability, climate change and poverty reduction.