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Conference News

Conference helps put biodiversity on the global agenda

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The International Conference on Biodiversity: Science and Governance (24-28 January, Paris, France) considerably raised the profile of biodiversity issues, particularly because of the commitment from scientists and governments to work together to take action on pressing issues.

Following an initial call from President Jacques Chirac to establish an intergovernmental body on biodiversity, final declarations from the scientific community and from the broader conference outlined criteria that should be considered in future initiatives—including the process of determining the role and structure of such a body.

With 2000 participants representing more than 100 countries, the Conference provided many opportunities for dialogue amongst various stakeholders. In addition to plenary sessions highlighting research and governance initiatives, a series of workshops sought to develop strategies for moving ahead in key areas such as: biodiversity governance; agriculture, fisheries; islands, forests and urban areas; microbial biodiversity; biodiversity and health; biodiversity indicators; and the 2010 Targets.

Use the following links to learn more about key outcomes.

Statement by President Jacques Chirac

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I hereby call on all scientists to join forces in order to set up a world-wide network of experts…This international effort will contribute to the much-needed world governance of the environment…we must step up the pace of action…our imperfect knowledge of biodiversity cannot serve as an excuse to justify lack of action.

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Declaration from the Scientific Community

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This declaration focuses on the need to develop mechanisms to: integrate scientific knowledge into economic and policy decisions and environmental management; educate citizens; and build capacity in developing countries. It calls for the establishment of an international mechanism, comprising intergovernmental and non-governmental elements, that enhances the effectiveness of existing initiatives and organisations.



Declaration from the International Conference on Biodiversity: Science and Governance”

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This declaration succinctly states specific priority areas for science, identifies actions that must be undertaken by various stakeholders and re-iterates the need for…an international multi-stakeholder consultative process guided by a balanced, multi-stakeholder steering committee.


Editorial by David Dickson
Do we need another global panel on biodiversity?

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The desire of French president Jacques Chirac to boost political efforts to defend biodiversity is welcome. His specific proposals on how to do this are more debatable. Few can now doubt that protecting the world's living systems from the damaging side effects of rapid economic and industrial growth is one of the biggest challenges facing modern society.


Last updated: 13 September 2006

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