16 December 2022, Montreal Canada - The Federated States of Micronesia called upon more than 190 governments to take into consideration the needs and special circumstances of small island developing states during the high-level segment of the global biodiversity conference.
The Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, now underway in Montreal, is negotiating a new Global Biodiversity Framework resulting in new targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
For Small Islands Developing States such as Micronesia negotiations are also to ensure special circumstances of SIDS remains in the final outcomes.
“Micronesia, like the rest of the Small Island Developing States in the Pacific region, is uniquely challenged due to our limited land, our geographic location, and the enormity of our ocean areas,” stated the Minister of Resources and Development of the Federated States of Micronesia, Secretary Elina Akinaga.
“As such, it is of utmost importance to Micronesia that the Global Biodiversity Framework takes into consideration the needs and special circumstances of small island developing states like Micronesia and contributes to conserving our unique biodiversity, including through the provision of adequate, predictable, new, and additional finance and other means of implementation.”
Minister Akinaga told her fellow colleagues that she was addressing them all, with deep concern noting that after 14 Conferences of the Parties, literally 30 years later, the world is threatened with the potential of widespread biodiversity collapse.
She called upon everyone to unite to find common ground and reach an agreement on an ambitious Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
With an estimated 77 per cent of land and 87 per cent of the ocean has been transformed by human activity. As a result of human actions, estimates indicate a loss of over 80 per cent of wild mammal biomass and roughly half the planets biomass.
“We cannot ignore the consequences of our actions, nor can we argue over semantics. We live in a mutually dependent world, with a common desire for global sustainability through biodiversity conservation. Cooperation and partnership are key to ensuring the current and future generations of humankind are resilient and enjoy equitable socioeconomic health.”
As of 15 December, it was estimated that the global human population surpassed the eight billion mark, as raised by the Minister in her statement, after 10 years of steady decline in world hunger, hunger is now on the rise, affecting roughly 10 per cent of people worldwide.
“Against this backdrop, it is also estimated that by 2050 we could lose roughly 90 per cent of the world’s coral reefs. Mass coral extinction has detrimental consequences for islands and coastal communities as roughly one billion people worldwide depend on coral reefs for their livelihoods and their food security,” stated the Minister Akinaga.
“The loss of corals and a decline of overall ocean health would cost the world roughly 9.9 trillion US dollars globally, therefore healthy ocean biodiversity should be a Pacific island national and regional priority, as well as a global priority too.”
Minister Akinaga stressed their expansive maritime zone represents both an opportunity and an enormous challenge. Being home to some of the largest fishing grounds in the Pacific, it covers an area of 1.1 million square miles, being one of the most productive tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific.
“Like most of the Pacific islands we need investments in capacity to manage and monitor the health of our biodiversity and the impacts of human activities that affect the status of our biodiversity.”
“I urge us all to come together to find common ground and reach an agreement on an ambitious Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.”
The Secretary Elina Akinaga, Minister of Resources and Development of the Federated States of Micronesia presented her statement to the high-level segment of the CBD COP15 on 15 December, 2022.
The Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) is held in Montreal, Canada from 7 – 19 December 2022. Chaired by the Government of China, the CBD COP15 will result in a new Global Biodiversity Framework that will continue the 2020 Biodiversity Targets with the global goal of halting biodiversity loss.
Fourteen Pacific Islands countries are Party to the CBD. They are contributing to a unified One Pacific Voice on collective issues at COP15. The countries present in Montreal are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), support to Pacific island countries has been implemented with technical input through the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT), and includes a One Pacific approach involving support from the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, and the Pacific Community at COP15 with financial assistance from the Government of Australia and the ACP MEA Phase 3 Project funded by the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States for the ACP countries.