Story There are only six years to reach the target of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010! - The European Environment Commissioner puts this serious reminder to the seventh Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The seventh Conference of the Parties to CBD takes place in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia from 9 to 20 February 2004. The European Commission’s starting point is to seek agreements on concrete measures to break the decline in global biodiversity. This means establishment of a global network of protected areas, development and implementation of indicators to measure biodiversity and strengthening the access to genetic resources and to equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use. The Commission stresses that success will depend on all parties giving greater priority to the links between biodiversity protection and poverty eradication, because the poor will be the first to suffer from vanishing ecosystems. The EU is committed to incorporating biodiversity objectives into development strategies and projects across different sectors of the recipient countries. Biodiversity and economic prosperity go hand in hand. The European Commission press package can be found at:
Release date 10/02/2004
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The COP7 agenda is large and ambitious, but the wide commitment to achieving the global target for 2010 of significantly reducing the loss of biodiversity and in Europe of halting the loss now calls for concrete action and less documents. The conference will give much attention to the establishment of a global network of regional and national protected areas to safeguard threatened ecosystems and threatened species. In 2010 the terrestrial network should be in place with well-managed areas and in 2012 the marine part should follow. The European Community Natura2000 network of areas protected under the Birds and the Habitats directives will have central functions in this network. Information about Natura200 and the directives can be found at the European Commission Nature Conservation homepage at: It is not enough to set a 2010 target and to work towards it at many points. It is also necessary to assess the effectiveness of the many actions to understand if the 2010 target will be reached and to be able to give prognoses beyond 2010 to help steer policies for biodiversity to function for future generations. For this monitoring and indicators as well as regular reviews of progress are necessary. Another very different, but equally important issue concerns discussions on the CBD principle of access to and sharing (ABS) of the financial and scientific benefits from arising from the use the genetic material with the owners or providers of this material. In December 2003 the European Commission issued a Communication on the implementation of the ABS guidelines (the Bonn Guidelines). The Communication can be found in all EU languages at the European Community Clearing House EC CHM under Genetic resources The COP7 documents including the agenda can be found at the Convention for Biodiversity at: Further information with many links to biodiversity in Europe can be found at the EC Clearing House Mechanism The European Environment Agency website contains a briefing paper and a poster for COP7 at: