Kew welcomes Nagoya biodiversity agreement

Kew's Director, Professor Stephen Hopper talks about Kew's response to the agreement reached in Nagoya last week to protect the natural environment. A positive outcome for conserving the world's biodiversity.

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01 Nov 2010

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Origanum vulgare with hoverfly

Origanum vulgare with hoverfly - all life depends on plants.

The discussion that took place at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Nagoya, Japan, in late October covered the three main components of the convention. Namely conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing.

This positive outcome shows international consensus for the urgent need to increase our efforts in conserving biodiversity worldwide and to share the benefits of this natural heritage equitably.

Professor Stephen Hopper, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

In terms of progress, an international agreement was made in the following key areas:

  • A new strategic plan with targets for 2020.
  • A protocol on access to and sharing of the benefits of biodiversity.
  • A resources (finance) mobilisation plan.

Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Professor Stephen Hopper, said:

"Kew strongly supports the agreement reached in Nagoya for protecting the natural environment. This positive outcome shows international consensus for the urgent need to increase our efforts in conserving biodiversity worldwide and to share the benefits of this natural heritage equitably.

"This new global plan to protect our natural environment is critical and Kew, with its partners in the UK and around the world, will be scaling up efforts to halt the loss of habitats and species now and in the years ahead."

How Kew will make a difference

"Kew will support the implementation of the targets of the Strategic Plan through its contribution to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation."

Agrostis trachychlaena specimen
Agrostis trachychlaena is rated Endangered (EN) according to IUCN Red List categories and criteria.

"Two of the key targets in the new Strategic Plan are to at least halve, and wherever possible to reduce to zero, the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests; and through conservation and restoration, to restore 15% of degraded areas.

Kew will be working towards these objectives in a number of ways, including through projects such as the Millennium Seed Bank partnership, restoration ecology and the Sampled Red List Index for Plants.

We also welcome the agreement to link the issues of biodiversity, climate change and poverty when protecting the world’s forests. All life depends on plants, they provide clean air, water, food, fuel, medicine and shelter and they help regulate the climate.

Now new targets are in place for 2020, it is absolutely critical that governments and organisations around the world work collaboratively to achieve them. Organisations such as Kew are even better placed to deliver effective science-based conservation, to ensure that by 2020 our natural environment is healthy and continues to provide the essential services upon which we all depend."

Ambitious but achievable targets

Professor Stephen Hopper went on to say:

"Kew welcomes the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) to provide clarity and a structure within which we can access plant resources and apply our benefit sharing activities.

"In 1996, Kew set up a Convention on Biological Diversity Unit to facilitate Kew's support of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), particularly its Access and Benefit Sharing provisions. Throughout our long history of advising Defra and our partners on the subject of Access and Benefit Sharing, we have developed an international reputation for good practice in this area."

"Kew also welcomes COP's support for an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) which we see as an important vehicle for informing decision-making at many levels. We recognise the need for scientists to provide a unified and authoritative view to policy-makers and we look forward to engaging with IPBES processes as they become established."

Throughout our long history of advising Defra and our partners on the subject of Access and Benefit Sharing, we have developed an international reputation for good practice in this area.

Professor Stephen Hopper, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

"Kew celebrates the adoption of the updated Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, a global framework in which we can actively contribute to the development of capacity for plant conservation with partner institutions around the world.

The new targets are ambitious but achievable, given the firm foundation established since 2002. The availability of The Plant List, due for publication later this year, as a response to Target 1 of the original GSPC will greatly facilitate planning, delivery and monitoring of all the new targets."

Biodiversity conservation is a key priority for the UK Government through Kew’s funding Department, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman, attended the conference in Nagoya, afterwards saying: 

"The new agreement states we will take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of habitats and species in order to ensure that by 2020 our natural environment is resilient and can continue to provide the essential services that we would otherwise take for granted. This will secure the planet’s variety of life, our well being and help eradicate poverty."


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