14 January 2011 - Following a recommendation of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) at their conference in October 2010, the UN General Assembly declared 2011 – 2020 the UN-Decade of Biodiversity. By doing so, the United Nations emphasized the ecological, economic, cultural, social and aesthetic dimension of biodiversity and its overall significance for sustainable development.
The UN Decade aims to make a contribution to achieving the revised and updated global biodiversity targets agreed at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the Convention of Biological Diversity. The biodiversity targets and a new strategy take into consideration the ongoing biodiversity loss on a global scale.
The Resolution requests the Secretary General to coordinate the activities of the Decade with the support of the secretariats of CBD and other biodiversity-related conventions and relevant United Nations funds, programmes and agencies. In addition, it invites Member States if possible to contribute to the funding of the activities of the Decade.
CBD encourages its members, which include all CMS Parties that have established a national committee for the International Year of Biodiversity to extend its mandate to cover the period of celebration of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. The Decade coincides with and supports the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 adopted at CBD COP10. A strategy to celebrate the Decade will be made available to the Parties by the CBD Secretariat.
New human, financial and technical resources will be made available by CBD member states to implement urgent measures to safeguard biodiversity. While CBD is the main instrument for the conservation of biological diversity, its sustainable use and the access to and benefit sharing of genetic resources, CMS’s role as its lead partner on the conservation of migratory species was reconfirmed at COP10.
The CMS Secretariat invites its Parties, as urged by the UN General Assembly under its Resolution 65/161, to fully participate in the UN-Decade and coordinate activities with a view to implementing the CBD Strategic Plan.
The revised National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) will be expected, as mandated by CBD COP 10, to cover the full range of activities needed to implement all biodiversity-related conventions including CMS. Parties to CMS have been requested to participate in the process for the revision and updating of the NBSAPs in order to incorporate national species targets in them. The CMS Secretariat will report on progress at its 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in November 2011.
UNEP's International Year of the Forest Campaign will focus on placing forests in the centre of national development and transformation to green economies. The current Year of the Bat 2011-2012 links the importance of forests as core habitat to the conservation of migratory bats. The UN-Decade for Biodiversity provides another opportunity to emphasize the importance migratory species and the ecosystem services provided by them for the benefit of human wellbeing.