Reports and Media Coverage

Media Coverage

«Nous attendons des conseils actifs de l'UE»
Libération - 22 sep 2006
Un message de plus ? Après trois jours de débats, la conférence de Paris sur la biodiversité et la coopération européenne ...

"Message de Paris" pour intégrer défense de la nature et développement
Cyberpresse - 21 sep 2006
Un "Message de Paris", délivré jeudi en clôture de la conférence internationale sur "Biodiversité et coopération européenne au développement", appelle l ...

La biodiversité gavée de promesses
Libération - 20 sep 2006
En pointe sur l'environnement pour ses engagements et ses intentions, l'Europe n'obtient qu'une très mauvaise note sur le terrain. ...

Une conférence internationale sur la biodiversité à Paris
AngolaPress - 19 sep 2006
Paris, France, 19/09 - Près de 400 représentants d`Etats, d`ONG et d`institutions internationales participeront à partir de mardi à Paris à une ...

La protection du patrimoine naturel doit être intégrée à la lutte contre la pauvreté
Cyberpresse - 21 sep 2006
Un Message de Paris, délivré jeudi en clôture de la conférence internationale Biodiversité et coopération européenne au développement, rappelle qu'il n ...    

Piden integrar freno a pérdida biodiversidad en Objetivos Milenio
Terra España - 21 sep 2006
... Las especies desaparecen mil veces más rápido que su tasa de extinción natural, recuerda la Unión Mundial para la Naturaleza (UICN), organizadora del acto ...

Threatened by climate change, poles and tropics stand united for their future

22 September 2006, Paris, France. Greenland and French Polynesia call on European decision makers to accelerate serious efforts on climate change and to actively support efforts to tackle the huge environmental challenges of the EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

This topic was intensively debated during the conference on Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation (BEDC) (Paris, 19 – 21 September 2006) organized by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the European Commission with support from the Governments of Belgium, Finland, France and Sweden.

In the name of OCTA (Overseas Countries and Territories Association), the Governments of Greenland and French Polynesia decided to jointly raise awareness about the severe impacts of climate change on the future of their ecosystems and populations.

The OCT’s extraordinary biodiversity and large ecosystems range are not only a major world heritage, but in particularly the heart and foundation of their cultures, ways of life, development and research opportunities, and even their very security and future.

Although OCT’s contribution to climate change is small, they will be the first directly facing the consequences of climate change: habitats and ecosystems degradation, loss of plant and animal species, ice cap melting and the resulting rise of sea levels.

Mrs Asii CHEMNITZ NARUP, Ministers of Environment of Greenland, stressed “if Greenland loses its ice floes, the traditional way of life and subsistence of local communities will be destroyed.

Mr Georges HANDERSON, Mrs Chemnitz Narup counterpart in French Polynesia outlines the extreme potential consequences for his country: “Climate change might damage coral reefs and lagoons that are the basis for important economic activities such as tourism, fishing, and black pearl production. The combination of sea level rise, more extreme weather and coral reefs degradation would mean unprecedented risks for the islands and their populations.

“If Greenland melts entirely, sea levels will rise by up to seven meters. This implies that French Polynesia – with lots of its territory only two meters above sea level - would be directly threatened. It is increasingly feared that climate change will have unprecedented impacts on cultures and human activities in both countries”, Mr. Jean-Philippe Palasi, IUCN Coordinator of the Programme on OCTs, points out.

This joint statement from French Polynesia and Greenland is a very strong call for more ambitious action at European level regarding environmental issues in the OCTs. It is also a clear support to the Message from Paris that more than 400 participants from governments and civil society in developing and developed countries agreed on.

The Message from Paris calls among others for joint action and funding from the European Commission, member states and other stakeholders to tackle the environmental threats in the OCTs. It also outlines ways forward to better integrate biodiversity into European Development Cooperation.

Finland and Peru endorse the Countdown 2010 initiative to halt the loss of biodiversity

Alex Mamud, Jan-Erik Enestam, Tamas Marghescu21 September 2006, Paris, France (Countdown 2010 Secretariat) – At the last day of the Conference on Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation, the Finnish Minister for the Environment Jan-Erik Enestam and Alex Mamud Venegas from the Peruvian Ministry for Agriculture undersigned the Countdown 2010 Declaration committing themselves to unprecedented efforts to achieve the 2010 biodiversity target to significantly reduce the loss of biodiversity.

Finland will prepare the EU Environment Council Conclusions on the European’s Commission Biodiversity Communication: “Halting the loss of Biodiversity by 2010 – and beyond”, with a focus on the strategy and the EU action plan to 2010 and beyond. The Finnish Government also promised to implement the Second Finnish National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2006 -2016 and to start a national education and awareness raising campaign with a focus on biodiversity.

The Peruvian Governments promised to integrate biodiversity issues in all relevant sectors and to foster cooperation at regional level through the integration of the 2010 Biodiversity targets into regional strategies and agendas.

Both Governments work together in the BIODAMAZ project – a project that addresses the pressing environmental problems in the complex Peruvian Amazon region. These efforts will be supported through the launch of a regional initiative in collaboration with the Andean Community. The project is thus a concrete response to the 2006 Paris Conference on Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation.

“As a result of our cooperation in this project, scientists were able to monitor very rare types of forests including new tree and bird species. Together with local authorities and communities, we aim to protecting this unique habitat,” highlight Minister Enestam and Alex Mamud Venegas.   

The goal of Countdown 2010 is that all Governments, at every level, take the necessary actions to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010. To this end, the Countdown 2010 partners work together to draw public attention to commitments made to preserve biological diversity.

“By confirming to take action on the 2010 biodiversity commitment, Finland and Peru demonstrate how North and South can join forces to put paper into action. An example to follow by others!” said Tamás Marghescu, Director of IUCN’s Regional Office for Europe.

The Conference on Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation (Paris, 19 to 21 September 2006) developed the “Message from Paris” which is intended to kick-start a process for charting and implementing a road map towards the integration of biodiversity into European economic and development cooperation.  More than 400 participants from around the globe from the development and environment sectors including more than 50 Ministers and Executive Secretaries participated in the conference.

Journalists join the battle for biodiversity in Paris

Participants of the COM+ Media TrainingParis, 21 September 2006. A group of environmentally committed journalists joined some 450 delegates from all corners of the world at a major international conference on ways to conserve the world’s vital ecosystems in Paris from September 19 to 21.

The group of seven Franco-Spanish, Italian, Macedonian, Brazilian and Senegalese journalists attended a training workshop in tandem with the conference aimed at sharpening their writing on biodiversity issues to give it force with the widest possible public. The workshop was led by the Reuters Foundation and sponsored by the Com+ Alliance of Communicators for Sustainable Development.

The conference, organised by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) under the title “Biodiversity in European Development Cooperation”, focused on ways in which European nations could gear their aid to developing countries to stem the apparently inexorable loss of biodiversity. It was part of the international Countdown 2010 initiative to halt the loss of biodiversity by that date. Latest figures show that more than 60 per cent of the world’s natural resources, on which humans depend for their food, welfare and livelihood, are being used up at an unsustainable rate and species are dying out at up to 1,000 times the normal speed.

Practical exercises in the workshop were based on the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), a four-year study of the world’s ecosystems launched in 2000 by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, involving 1,360 experts worldwide and culminating in 2005 with a wide-ranging report on conditions and trends in ecosystems and scenarios for the future.

Participants developed stories from material in the report, on the increase in endangered species and on the severe degrading of coastal and marine ecosystems. They also attended the opening and closing sessions of the conference and a high-level press conference on the opening day, and had question-and-answer sessions within the workshop with IUCN experts.

In their final workshop session, the journalists discussed techniques for keeping biodiversity in the news to raise public awareness of the seriousness of the situation and humanity’s responsibility for it.

All the participants found the setting of the workshop in parallel with the conference very helpful and stimulating. They were able not only to attend some conference sessions but also to immerse themselves in the atmosphere in the corridors and salons of the International Conference Centre, set up interviews with delegates and make contacts with relevant experts.