IUCN: Statement on Sustainable Development

New York, October 26, 2006: In a statement delivered by Ambassador Bhagwat Singh, the IUCN outlined its views regarding climate change, energy, desertification, biodiversity and UNEP.

Regarding climate change, the IUCN said that a 2°C warming above pre-industrial levels is the threshold for dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate systems. He said remaining below this level will require unprecedented efforts of the international community including dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions starting in the near term. We thus look forward to the coming meetings of the Convention and the Protocol and urge Parties to take the necessary actions in this regard. We also encourage the Parties to improve their understanding of the links between climate change and biodiversity, especially the benefits of biodiversity for mitigating and adapting to climate change as well as the potential effects of climate change response strategies on biodiversity.

Concerning energy, the IUCN said it was important that energy technologies and innovations result in an energy system that is simultaneously environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially equitable. He said the IUCN is working towards further understanding of the implications of the energy future for biodiversity. We must ensure that the new technologies are environmentally sustainable. For example, biofuels cannot be sustainable if the agricultural basis for their production is itself unsustainable. New solutions will always beget new challenges; we must be alert to them and ensure that they do not create worse conditions. In the first instance, they must not undermine, but rather positively contribute, to the Millennium Development Goals.

On desertification the IUCN welcomed the decision to establish an Intersessional Intergovernmental Working Group to develop a draft ten-year strategic plan and framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention. He said the IUCN promotes a systemic approach to the problem of desertification organized around water and its relationship to land degradation, in the context of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Regarding biodiversity, the IUCN supported the Conference of the Parties’ proposal to the General Assembly to declare 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. He said negotiations on an international regime on access and benefit sharing was a critical element for achieving greater sustainability and equity in the use of biodiversity and we thus urge Parties to conclude negotiations at the earliest possible time before 2010, as decided by the COP.

On UNEP, the IUCN said it was looking forward to the General Assembly’s consideration of the latter and in particular the report of the Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence and the follow up to the Assembly’s work on paragraph 169 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome, in order to achieve greater and more effective integration of the environment into all United Nations operations and a strengthened role for the United Nations Environment Programme.

Full Text
Source: IUCN, 2006

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