17.09.2010 -

UN Summit focuses on Small Island Developing States and Biodiversity

With 5 of the 15 years left to go for the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this week the 65th session of the UN General Assembly (GA) will examine the international community’s progress towards the MDGs.

It will also examine progress in relation to SIDS and biodiversity targets. UNESCO science programmes are actively working on these issues and will be following the debate very closely.

In the best of times, small islands are more vulnerable to environmental change than large land areas but this vulnerability has been acutely accentuated by today’s global challenges of climate change, rising sea levels with saltwater intrusion into freshwater lenses, the financial crisis and food shortages. A special 2-day GA high-level meeting on 24-25 September 2010 will review progress after five years of implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. UNESCO is contributing actively to the review process. The special session aims to agree on what needs to be done to further address the increasing vulnerability of SIDS and will explore how to enhance international financial support for vulnerable communities in SIDS.

UNESCO is contributing to the Mauritius Strategy through the Intersectoral Platform on the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which involves all UNESCO programme sectors and aims to harness the power of education, science, culture and communication to contribute to sustainable development in the more than 40 UNESCO Member States which are SIDS. Details of UNESCO’s work in SIDS.

A United Nations High-Level Event on Biodiversity will also take place on 22 September 2010 as a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity. The session will deal with the biodiversity crisis and measures to counteract it. It is expected that the Event will assist in building further momentum in relation to biodiversity-related issues to be discussed, and decisions that will be taken by the 65th regular Session of the UN General Assembly, including a proposed UN Decade on Biodiversity and the possible creation of an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The outcome of the Event will be presented to the General Assembly and to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to take place in Nagoya Japan next month.

Check this website for further developments on biodiversity at the UNGA 65th Regular Session and IPBES.

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