13 September 2005

Achievement of Millennium Development Goals Requires Conservation, Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity

(Reissued as received.)

MONTREAL 12 September (Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat) -- World leaders and representatives of civil society attending the Millennium Summit in New York this week must take action to conserve and use biological diversity sustainably, and distribute its benefits equitably, if the world is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), say the heads of five international conventions addressing biological diversity.

"All of us rely on biodiversity, directly or indirectly, for our health and welfare.  We must ensure that biodiversity will be available for us and for all future generations", they reminded.  "We call upon leaders to recognize that to make the MDGs a reality in a highly populated planet, biological diversity needs to be used sustainably and its benefits more equitably shared."

The statement was issued by the heads of five international conventions dealing with biological diversity.  The conventions include:  the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran 1971) and the World Heritage Centre (WHC).

The statement outlines the importance of biodiversity in providing important ecosystem services used by humans, including:  clean water, food, fuel and fibre, medicines and climate control.  "As advances in reducing poverty and improving well-being for our growing population are made, we will more clearly understand the need for effectively functioning ecosystems", they said.

The world has already begun to recognize the role biodiversity plays to human well-being, they reminded.  "The importance of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity to achieving the MDGs has already been recognized by world leaders in their support for achieving a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 -- the so-called 2010 target."

"Biodiversity can indeed help alleviate hunger and poverty, can promote good human health, and be the basis for ensuring freedom and equity for all", they stressed.  "We urge thus governments and civil society to act in helping to conserve and use biological diversity sustainably, thus ensuring all a share in the benefits of a diverse world."

The full text of the statement is available on the websites of the Conventions, including at

www.biodiv.org/doc/statements/mdg-2005-en.pdf ,

http://www.cms.int/news/current_news_page.htm ,

http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/186 ,

http://www.ramsar.org/index_bulletin.htm , and http://www.cites.org .

Contacts:  David Ainsworth, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity: tel: +1-514-287-7025; mobile +1 514 833-0196; e-mail: david.ainsworth@biodiv.org .

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