Global forum looks to fill the investment gap
The possibilities and opportunities of private financial commitments to assist the worldwide protection of biological diversity are the focus of a meeting the Federal Environment Ministry is hosting. Invited are selected personalities from international politics, the United Nations Environment Program, representatives of leading foundations and businesses as well as selected private individuals. "Global environmental protection is not a free ride. That's why we want to gain new partners in this important task," said the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Matthias Machnig, at the opening of the first global forum for private investors in the protection of biological diversity.
At the 9th UN Nature Conservation Conference, held in Bonn in May last year, Germany took over the presidency of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Germany will remain president until the next conference in Japan in October 2010. "In Bonn the theme biological diversity was successfully placed on the international political agenda and was made accessible to the general public. This is what our initiative is now connecting with. Our goal is to gain new, private partners for the global protection of nature," said Machnig.
Germany has in fact taken a leadership role: By 2012 500 million euro will be earmarked for the international protection of biological diversity. From 2013 this will become 500 million annually. It is estimated that an additional 10-15 billion US dollars are required annually to establish a world wide network of protected areas. "It is obvious that the public authorities cannot meet the financing need for the global protection of biodiversity. We intend to summarise the most important messages from this event into a declaration and to initiate a process with the Secretariat of the UN Convention to seek the commitment of private investors", said Machnig.