Talks begin in Japan for global biodiversity targets

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Representatives from all corners of the world gathered in the central Japanese city of Nagoya on Monday for the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, known as COP10.

A record number of 15,000 people representing the 193 Parties and their partners took part in the meeting to finalize the negotiation on a new Strategic Plan on biodiversity for the next 10 years and a biodiversity vision for 2050.

A broad range of issues like access and benefit-sharing, climate change, geoengineering and biodiversity, and finance, economic instruments will also be discussed in the meeting.

Ryu Matsumoto, minister of the Environment of Japan, said at the opening ceremony that the nature was in serious danger and he urged for a new global target, which should be ambitious and realistic. The minister, who is also the president of COP10, noted that the 2010 goal had not been achieved.

The 2010 biodiversity target was endorsed in 2002 with the goal of achieving by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national levels to contribute to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth.

"However, based on the result of the 3rd edition of Global Biodiversity Outlook, which was released in May this year, we were unable to achieve the target," Matsumoto said.

This year marks the international year of biodiversity with a lot of activities going on around the world. The negotiations in Nagoya will last until Oct. 29.

A ministerial meeting in the last three days will be the highlight of the event. Negotiations will be conducted toward the adoption of a new protocol, an international regime on access to genetic resources such as medicinal plants and benefit-sharing for the countries concerned.

But analysts said the talks will not be easy because members of COP10 are divided on key issues including the benefit-sharing and financial support.

The loss and destruction of biodiversity is taking place at an unprecedented rate in the history of the biological life. Currently, some 40,000 species have become extinct every year, reports said.

Experts said loss of biological resources might threaten the survival of human beings by declining their living quality. In addition, the generations to come would no longer enjoy the benefit from the ecosystem and biological resources.

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