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October 25, 2010

Biodiversity Summit week 1 recap


The Biodiversity Summit in Japan is kicking off week 2 and we thought we’d give you a recap with some highlights and news stories from last week.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity released a report highlighted the enourmous (but necessary) cost of altering the global economy to put value on forests, reefs and other elements of nature. It recommended that businesses and governments should report their damaging impact on the environment and provide financial compensation for it.

The report cites a study by Britain-based consultancy TruCost that found that the world’s top 3,000 listed companies caused environmental damage costing 2.2 trillion dollars annually! That’s not small change.

The UN’s report, Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Outlook: Global Synthesis highlighted the damaging effect of overfishing, pollution and climate change on marine species.

Unfortunately, despite promising messages of “hope” at the beginning of the summit, not much progress has been made. As the second week of the summit begins, we hope to see some stronger action being taken, but we aren’t holding our breath.

Jonathan Watts of The Guardian couldn’t have said it better than he does here: “The parallels with last year’s Copenhagen climate conference are depressingly evident. Then, as now, the talks made no progress by the halfway point. Then, as now, the developed and developing world were at loggerheads. Then, as now, hopes for a breakthrough were pinned on the imminent arrival of political leaders.”

We’ve been keeping an eye on updates from Greenpeace which you can see here, and reading IUCN’s Nagoya Diary here.