International Committee on Biodiversity
Although biodiversity is a region-centered issue, the coordination of a worldwide direction to mitigating biodiversity loss is an international issue that will require collaboration through a higher body. Therefore we propose that an international body be created under the U.N. called the International Committee on Biodiversity (ICB).
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was a specific convention and treaty created in 1992 that set goals for progress in mitigating the biodiversity crisis by 2010. Few, if any of those goals have been met. Working Groups that review implementation of the convention have met since 2010 and most recently in 2007 and 2010 created reports outlining reasons for lack of implementation including (Cooper 2010):
- Lack of ownership and mainstreaming on the part of stakeholders in NBSAP preparation
- Including lack of mainstreaming across sectors such as national development strategies, poverty reduction strategies and planning processes
- Not enough quantitative goals and targets that respond to the 2010 Target
- Ecosystem Approach is largely absent
- NBSAP's fail to identify on funding and do not focus on the fundamental, institutional change
- Not enough innovative financing mechanisms
In February of 2010, having realized that the 2010 goals had not been met, the Convention met again to discuss a post-2010 plan. They created a new long-term vision for 2050 and new mission for 2020 that aims to emphasize quantifiable sub-targets and the practical side of implementation which was largely missing from the 1992 Convention. Many of these goals align with the overall plan this class has created. Our overall plan also greatly increases the specificity of mechanisms to support implementation, educational outreach programs, and quantitative metrics that clearly measure success.
However, the Convention does not actually have implementation power and lacks the ability to provide funding to countries for their projects. We believe that this greatly hinders the potential for any collective international and multilateral action on the biodiversity crisis. An International Committee on Biodiversity, or ICB, is necessary because the ability to allocate funding and facilitate international policy is critical to a global movement to control biodiversity loss promote worldwide sustainable living. Although the goals we have independently created overlap with the broad targets of the post-2010 plan, the presence of an international committee will enable our plan to create a unified direction toward national strategy implementations.
There are four main themes that define the role of the ICB:
- International Collaboration – A major role of the ICB is to help facilitate collaboration between its member countries. This collaboration will take the form of intergovernmental incentives as well as cooperation between countries to protect areas of interest which are shared between countries. There are examples of this model working well. One such project involved Conservation International, a large NGO that promotes biodiversity conservation efforts, coordinating an agreement between Norway and Guyana in 2009. Norway gave Guyana, a country with a history in conservation efforts for its forests, 250 million USD for their REDD+ (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) fund to reward the country's efforts in saving its forests (Conservation International 2009). Another example is a unique debt-for-nature exchange deal between the U.S. and Indonesia, in which the 28.5 million USD meant to repay Indonesia's debts owed to the U.S. will be diverted to a fund to improve local land use techniques and Borneo forest preservation (ICTSD 2011). The ICB will work to encourage these and other innovative projects to provide incentives to member countries to improve their biodiversity policies.
- Accountability – Every five years, the ICB will require its member countries to produce a report detailing the progress of its member countries in the various stages of national implementation Additionally, the ICB retains the power to conduct an assessment of any one of its member countries every ten years if it so desires. Upon receiving the report, the ICB will rate the country's progress and make recommendations for further action.
- Research & Development – A major component of the ICB is the provision for an international R&D program. The ICB will annually publish topics of biodiversity research for which grants are available to governments, industries, scientists, and universities. See Bio-D Forum R&D.
- Funding – The source of ICB funding is the UN member countries. The exact percent contributions of GDP will be determined on an annual basis when the ICB determines its budgets which vary by the stage of implementation.