The Environment Chronicle

Notable environmental events between 2010 and 2010 Deselect

  1. The sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 16 ) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 6) took place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. The Cancun Agreements were the first to officially recognise the two degree target in a UN decision and contain a reference to the submitted mitigation commitments from industrialised and developing countries, the establishment of a global climate fund, arrangements on adaptation to climate change, forest conservation (REDD+), technological cooperation and capacity building in developing countries. A procedure was agreed for reviewing whether measures taken will suffice to meet the two degree target. Moreover, basic agreements were made regarding the transparency of countries’ climate action (MRV – measurable, reportable and verifiable). Industrialised countries pledged under certain conditions to mobilise funding from public and private sources for climate action in developing countries. These funds are to total 100 billion dollars per year by 2020.

  2. On 23 November 2010 thw World leaders and countries that have wild tigers endorsed a major plan to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022 underscoring their commitments at the historic International Tiger Conservation Forum. Hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, governments capped a year-long political process with about USD 127 million in new funding to support the plan, known as the Global Tiger Recovery Programme.

  3. On 29 October 2010 some 18,000 participants representing the 193 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and their partners closed the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit by adopting historic decisions that will permit the community of nations to meet the unprecedented challenges of the continued loss of biodiversity compounded by climate change. The meeting took decisions in three key areas: participants adopted a new target and an ambitious strategy on the global conservation of biological diversity from 2011 to 2020, set binding financing targets for its implementation and adopted internationally binding regulations for access to genetic resources and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization.

  4. The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, hosted by the Government of Japan takes place from 18 to 29 October 2010.

  5. As a contribution to the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, which the General Assembly proclaimed in 2006 to stress the necessity to reverse the continued loss of biodiversity (A/RES/61/203 ), the General Assembly convened a high-level meeting on biodiversity on 22 September 2010.

  6. On 3 September 2010 was an international meeting on biodiversity in Geneva (Switzerland). Switzerland invited ministers representing the former and upcoming presidencies of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to an informal meeting. The participants agreed on the Geneva Ministerial Biodiversity Call for Immediate Action, in which they affirmed the key role of biodiversity and its services for humans and called for a trend reversal in international biodiversity policies. The declaration calls upon heads of state and government, who will meet at the high-level meeting of the General Assembly as a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity on 22 September of this year, to send a clear signal to the delegates of the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Japan this October.

  7. Germany and Mexico invited environment and climate ministers from 43 countries to attend informal discussions from 2 to 4 May 2010 on the Petersberg near Bonn. The Petersberg Climate Dialogue has brought new momentum to the international climate negotiations. Germany's Environment Minister Röttgen commented at the end of the conference: "These two-and-a-half days of intensive discussions have clearly shown that there is broad consensus among the international community. I am delighted that with the Petersberg Climate Dialogue we have succeeded in holding an open exchange in a constructive atmosphere of trust. This is a good basis for further cooperation and sets us off on the road to an ambitious UN climate agreement."

  8. The Bolivian President Evo Morales has called for the First World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (WPCCC) to be held in Bolivia. The conference took place April 19-22 near the city of Cochabamba.

  9. Representatives of the Dutch, Danish and German governments meeting on 18 March 2010 in Westerland/Sylt agreed on new impetus for the protection of the Wadden Sea. At the conference, which was attended by over 130 international participants, the three partners of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation adopted a management plan for the entire Wadden Sea. Decisive action will now be taken against invasive alien species and the major challenges resulting from climate change. For the Wadden Sea ecosystem and for mankind it is vital to facilitate adaptation to the impacts of climate change through a package of measures. At the conclusion of the conference the governments of the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany agreed on a joint political programme for the coming 3 years geared towards even better protection of the common ecosystem. The conference on Sylt included the signing of a modernised founding document for the Cooperation and a new administrative agreement for the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. In future, a newly established Wadden Sea Board will take on the strategic leadership of the Wadden Sea Cooperation. This board will be comprised of representatives of the three governments - or in Germany's case the Wadden Sea federal Länder - as well as two representatives from the nature conservation associations and the Wadden Sea Forum, an independent platform of stakeholders in the region. With the conclusion of the Sylt Conference, the presidency of the Wadden Sea Cooperation passes from Germany to Denmark.

  10. The fifteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP15) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) took place from 13-25 March 2010, in Doha, Qatar. On 25 March the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora failed to agree on stronger protection for endangered fish species. The proposals submitted by the EU, the United States and other countries did not receive the required majorities. The EU proposal put forward by Germany on the protection of the porbeagle missed the requires two-third majority by one vote. Previously, the proposal on the spiny dogfish had also failed to receive the necessary support. The United States, which submitted proposals for six shark species to be listed in Annex II, suffered the same failure. Equally abortive was the proposal put forward by Monaco on a temporary ban on international trade of the bluefin tuna. However, some amphibian species made it into the CITES Appendices this year: some tree or leaf frog species from Central America, for example, were listed in Appendix II of the Convention and the Luristan newt from Iran even received the strict protection status of Appendix I. Moreover, elephants in Tanzania and Zambia retained their protection status under Appendix I.

  11. Ministers and high-level representatives responsible for the water management in the Danube River Basin from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and the European Commission attended a Ministerial Meeting of States Parties to the Danube River Protection Convention, hosted by the ICPDR on 16 February 2010 in Vienna, Austria. The Ministerial Meeting adopted the Danube River Basin Management Plan, which outlines concrete measures to be implemented by the year 2015 to improve the environmental condition of the Danube and its tributaries. The measures include the reduction of organic and nutrient pollution, offsetting environmentally detrimental effects of man-made structural changes to the river, improvements to urban wastewater systems, the introduction of Phosphate-free detergents in all markets and effective risk management of accidental pollution. Further, measures to restore river continuity for fish migration as well as the reconnection of wetlands will be tackled. The plan takes a source-to-sea approach and addresses key requirements of the European Union Water Framework Directive.