Sign to the world from Genk

12 October 2010 | News story

Just before the start of the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (18 -29 October) in Japan, last week an important signal was sent to the world: we need to act for nature!

President of the European Union, Herman van Rompuy, European Commissioner Janez Potocnik, and Flemish Minister of the Environment Joke Schauvliege explained the role that Europe is to play in the upcoming negotiations and how they are endeavouring to counter the deterioration of nature.

The Conference of the Parties in Nagoya starting in less than two weeks is important for nature and for the belief that multilateralism can still deliver here” stated van Rompuy . “You can count on the EU for a constructive and ambitious position in Japan.”

Leading international nature organisations, namely IUCN and some of its Members WWF, Birdlife International, Europarc Federation, and Natuurpunt presented their vision for the future of biodiversity.

IUCN emphasises that it is feasible to mobilize significant resources for implementation of the Strategic Plan. However this can only be achieved by using a variety of instruments and by mobilizing resources at all levels and from all sources, including innovative finance mechanisms” stated Hans Friederich, IUCN Regional Director for Pan-Europe highlighting the need for increased resources to overcome biodiversity challenges.

To express their commitment to biodiversity, speakers including Ignace Schops, Director of the National Hoge Kempen Park, each threw a rock into a globe which was purposely built for the occasion. The rocks came from a number of parks all over the world. The action aimed to represent the “solidity” of the commitment towards biodiversity of the organizations and institutions present.

The event, which was organized by IUCN Member National Hoge Kempen Park, took place on 8 October 2010 at one of the gateways of the national park.

You can watch part of Friederich’s speech here.

Van Rompuy’s video speech can be found here and here.