Highlights for Monday, 29 October 2007

The Fifth Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity, hosted by the Norwegian Government in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), opened today in Trondheim, Norway.

Following a choir performance, participants heard a welcoming address by Rita Ottervik, Mayor of Trondheim, who then signed the 2010 Declaration on Significantly Reducing Biodiversity Loss with Jeffrey McNeely from IUCN-The World Conservation Union (photo below).

Participants also heard opening statements by: Heidi Sørensen, Norway’s State Secretary of Environment; Marina Silva, Brazil’s Minister of the Environment; Bakary Kante, Diretor of UNEP’s Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC); Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); and Kristian Øyen, Junior Board member of UNEP’s TUNZA Programme

During a session on “Setting the stage,” presentations were given on the state of ecosystems and the need to improve communicating the biodiversity issue. Addressing the theme “Looking towards 2010 and beyond,” delegates discussed: the economic consequences of biodiversity loss; the role of biodiversity in reaching the Millennium Development Goals; and progress on achieving “a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss.”

A reception, hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, was held in the evening.

Hand shake
Jeffrey McNeely, IUCN (left) and Rita Ottervik, Mayor of Trondheim.
Opening ceremony
Trondheim Mayor
Norway Environment Minister
Rita Ottervik, Mayor of Trondheim, welcomed participants to the Conference and to Trondheim. She highlighted the role of ecosystems in ensuring human health and economic prosperity.
Heidi Sørensen, State Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Norway, drew attention to the parallels between the 2010 biodiversity target and the target of halving global poverty by 2015.
Marina Silva
Bakary Kante
Marina Silva, Minister of the Environment, Brazil, outlined ten steps towards achieving the 2010 target, including: the elaboration of ABS and traditional knowledge protection systems; financial resource mechanisms to implement the CBD; and consolidated and financed protected area networks.
Bakary Kante, UNEP DELC, stressed the need to educate the media, institutions, politicians and the public about the consequences of biodiversity loss.
Ahmed Djoghlaf
Kristian Øyen
Stressing that climate change and biodiversity are interlinked, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary to the CBD, highlighted the impact of alien invasive species and emphasized that the poor suffer the most from biodiversity loss.
Kristian Øyen, Junior Board member of UNEP’s TUNZA Programme, described the TUNZA Programme, noting that the word “TUNZA” means “to treat with care or affection” in Kiswahili, and that TUNZA aims to engage young people in environmental activities and in the work of UNEP.
Opening Ceremony Choir
Setting the stage
Frits Hesselink
Doris Capistrano
Frits Hesselink, HECT Consultancy, the Netherlands.
Moustafa Fouda, Egypt.
Doris Capistrano, Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia.
Looking towards 2010 and beyond
Mark Schauer
Charles McNeill
Neville Ash
Mark Schauer, Federal Environment Ministry, Germany.
Charles McNeill, UNDP.
Neville Ash, UNEP WCMC.
Global Forest Coalition
James Seyani, Malawi.
Simone Lovera, Global Forest Coalition.
Horst Korn, Germany.
Juliane Zeidler, Natuye.
Evening reception