The global South comprises more than 70 per cent of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Developing countries face tremendous challenges in halting the loss of biodiversity and mitigating the risks of biodiversity losses. For the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and Africa in general, the requirements for capacity-development require not only North-South cooperation for sustainable development. South-South cooperation, as a complement to North-South cooperation, remains an important force for the successful preservation of biodiversity.
Hence, South-South cooperation is one of the key modalities for enhancing the implementation of this vital Convention at the service of the legitimate development needs of the developing countries Parties.
As developing and emerging countries consolidate their achievements in the implementation of the Convention, and as their capacity to assist other partners grows, the Convention needs South-South and triangular cooperation as cornerstones of its strategy to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. South-South cooperation should be encouraged, within the Convention, and in the broader context of scientific and technical cooperation, as defined by articles 16, 17 and 18 of the Convention. It can also be linked to biodiversity technology transfer and the discussions towards a Biodiversity Technology Initiative.
Last year in Nagoya, just prior to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, a South-South Cooperation Forum on Biodiversity for Development was convened by the G-77 and China, adopting a Multi-Year Plan of Action for South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development as a complement to the G-77 Development Platform for the South launched in June 2008 at the twelfth session of the Intergovernmental Follow-up and Coordination Committee on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire. Subsequently, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention adopted decision X/23, which encourages Parties and other Governments to further contribute to the development of the Plan and calls on regional organizations, United Nations and development agencies, non-governmental organizations and other donors to support the finalization of the Plan of Action for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its eleventh meeting, to be held in Hyderabad, India, in October next year.
In this sense, I also welcome the proactive support of the Government of the Republic of Korea, through its National Institute for Biological Resources (NIBR), hosting the Third Expert Meeting for South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development from 18 to 20 May 2011 in Incheon City. The meeting’s output and recommendations will be considered at the next meeting of the Working Group on the Review of Implementation in May 2012 in Montreal, where Parties will also consider the Plan of Action proposed by the Group of 77 and China.
Since 2006, the Group of 77 and China have attached fundamental importance to cooperating with the Secretariat of the Convention in promoting economic and technical cooperation among developing countries through South-South initiatives. As Africa is poised to become the Chair of the Group of 77 for 2012, it is now up to Parties to the Convention to continue to work together to ensure that progress made to date in South-South cooperation can be advanced in the years to come in the arena of sustainable development. I look forward to an active support from Parties to the further development and eventual adoption of a Plan of Action on South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development as a key component of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
I also look forward to the organization of regular meetings of the South-South forum on biodiversity for development, in partnership with the Group of 77 and China, at the margins of future meetings of the Conference of the Parties to exchange experiences and best practices.