Environmental G7 Summit Reaffirms Benefits Of Sustainable Use
The G71 Toyama Environment Ministers’ met in Toyama, Japan in May and discussed the 2030 Agenda, Resource Efficiency and the 3Rs (“Reduce”, “Reuse” and “Recycle”), Biodiversity, Climate Change and Related Measures, Chemicals Management, the Role of Cities, and Marine Litter. The G7 Ministers and the European Commissioner were joined by heads and senior officials of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
Under the heading “Biodiversity” the Official Communiqué (point 21) stated that biodiversity plays a vital role for maintaining life-sustaining systems, and therefore is of paramount importance and recognized that the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems constitute both an environmental problem, as well as a socio-economic problem which reduces human well-being. Furthermore the need for a transition to socio-economic systems to make conservation more valuable than degradation, and sustainable use more valuable than unsustainable use was highlighted (point 23).
Importantly, the G7 Ministers made reference to the importance of promoting fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promoting the appropriate access to such resources (point 27).The G7 Ministers reaffirmed that economic instruments complement other approaches, and that sustainable use including the legal commercial trade of wildlife may be beneficial to biodiversity conservation by engaging local communities (point 28).
The G7 Ministers confirmed that the illegal trade in wildlife remains a major threat to the survival of certain species of wildlife, and has adverse impacts not only on conservation but also on the social and economic issues, including the loss of our natural and cultural heritage, mainly in range states (point 29). The pursuit of economic approaches for mainstreaming biodiversity and commitment to further develop and advance these mechanisms will contribute to address the topic of “mainstreaming biodiversity for well-being” across sectors, and to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the SDGs (point 31) (Full document click HERE).