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Friends of the Earth: Market Mechanisms Are a False Solution to Biodiversity Loss

Statement by Friends of the Earth International

NAGOYA, JAPAN - With only one day of negotiations left at the Convention on Biological Diversity's summit in Nagoya, Japan, Friends of the Earth International urgently calls on governments to reject false solutions to halt biodiversity loss, such as trading biodiversity credits and other market-based mechanisms.

The silhouettes of guests are pictured at a dinner reception for the high-level ministerial segment of the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) in Nagoya, central Japan, on Oct. 27. Friends of the Earth sounds the alarm about market based solutions in which nature is commodified in order to be valued. (Yuriko Nakao/Reuters) "It is urgent that the world ministers meeting in Nagoya take immediate action to preserve biodiversity. Nearly half of the world's forests and around one-third of its species have been lost in the past three decades. The failure to meet the 2010 goals and targets that have been agreed under the Convention on Biological Diversity is unacceptable. But market based mechanisms now being discussed in Nagoya will not address the root problems of biodiversity loss," said Isaac Rojas, the coordinator for Friends of the Earth International's Forest and Biodiversity Program.

More than 100 representatives of environmental non profit organizations and local communities met in Penang, Malaysia from October 14 to 17 for a conference on Forest, Biodiversity, Community Rights and Indigenous Peoples, organized by Friends of the Earth. They came up with a statement for governments and corporations, asking them to stop the promotion of destructive projects and start taking real action to tackle biodiversity loss. The most important issues addressed in this statement are the commodification of biodiversity and the rights of communities and indigenous peoples.

One of the false solutions on the agenda for discussion in Nagoya is the Green Development Mechanism (GDM), modeled after the destructive Climate Development Mechanism, developed within the climate change negotiations. This market based scheme would create tradable biodiversity credits and make it possible to offset biodiversity and ecological loss instead of preventing it.

"We cannot and should not rely on market mechanisms to do the job that governments should be doing. Commodification and privatization of nature and biodiversity are false solutions. Biodiversity is not for sale. Existing financial incentives usually harm biodiversity conservation rather than supporting it, and often violate the rights of local communities," said Isaac Rojas.

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