15. LIFE ON LAND

Will a billionaire bankroll biodiversity? CBD Decision 15/9 as potential ‘goldmine’ (commentary)

Will a billionaire bankroll biodiversity? CBD Decision 15/9 as potential ‘goldmine’ (commentary)
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Will a billionaire bankroll biodiversity? CBD Decision 15/9 as potential ‘goldmine’ (commentary)  Mongabay.com

Will a billionaire bankroll biodiversity? CBD Decision 15/9 as potential ‘goldmine’ (commentary)

Decision 15/9 and the Potential Goldmine for Biodiversity Conservation

  • Decision 15/9 established a “multilateral mechanism for benefit-sharing from the use of digital sequence information on genetic resources” during COP15 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) last year.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars are needed to finance biodiversity conservation, especially in mega-diverse nations, and Decision 15/9 could be a goldmine, but for whom?
  • “Decision 15/9 can be either a goldmine for the mega-diverse Parties to the CBD or for select stakeholders, but not for both. Fairness and efficiency require that economic rents be vetted,” a new op-ed argues.
  • This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.

The Significance of Decision 15/9

Economic metaphors can be ironic, unexpectedly so. The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) established a “multilateral mechanism for benefit-sharing from the use of digital sequence information on genetic resources, including a global fund” (Decision 15/9). The Acting Executive Secretary of the Secretariat heralds the mechanism as a “landmark.” Hope runs high. Global biotechnology sales will soon reach $1 trillion per year. Hundreds of billions are needed to finance the conservation of biodiversity. Decision 15/9 could be a goldmine. But for whom?

The Perspective of Industries

Industries that use genetic resources are dismissive. They may point to Brazil, the most biodiverse country in the world, where legislation allows royalties as low as 0.1%. The WiLDSI Project, funded by the German Government, contemplates a benefit one order of magnitude lower than that: on a billion-dollar blockbuster biotechnology, 0.01% translates to $100,000. Why bother?

The Concept of Economic Rent

A goldmine exists only if industry pays an ‘economic rent’ for commercially successful biotechnologies. The rent in any good is the difference between what one pays and what one would have paid in a competitive market. Industry enjoys rents through intellectual property rights (IPR), such as patents and copyrights. These limited-in-time monopolies allow IPR-holders to offset the costs of bringing artificial information into existence.

A tokay gecko.
Tokay gecko. Image by Tontan Travel via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The Challenge for Mega-Diverse Nations

By contrast, mega-diverse nations which are Parties to the CBD compete in ‘natural information,’ which is embodied in genetic resources and diffused across species and jurisdictions. Brazil is again a good example: nine countries lie in the Amazonian tropics, some 27 in the new-world tropics, and 92 in the global tropics. Except for genetic resources unique to Brazil, nine, 27 or even 92 countries would be competing to conclude a biotech contract for access and benefit sharing.

Competition eliminates rent for natural information and thereby misaligns incentives between consumers and suppliers. This asymmetric treatment of artificial and natural

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 14: Life Below Water
  • SDG 15: Life on Land

The article discusses the need for financing biodiversity conservation and the establishment of a multilateral mechanism for benefit-sharing from the use of digital sequence information on genetic resources. These issues are directly connected to SDG 14, which aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources, and SDG 15, which focuses on protecting, restoring, and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managing forests, combating desertification, and halting biodiversity loss.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 14.2: By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.
  • SDG 15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.

The article highlights the need for financing biodiversity conservation and the establishment of a mechanism for benefit-sharing from the use of digital sequence information on genetic resources. These actions align with the targets under SDG 14.2 and SDG 15.5, which aim to protect and restore marine and coastal ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator 14.2.1: Proportion of national exclusive economic zones managed using ecosystem-based approaches.
  • Indicator 15.5.1: Red List Index.

The article does not explicitly mention any indicators. However, to measure progress towards the identified targets, the following indicators can be used. Indicator 14.2.1 measures the proportion of national exclusive economic zones managed using ecosystem-based approaches, which is relevant to the goal of sustainably managing and protecting marine and coastal ecosystems. Indicator 15.5.1 measures the Red List Index, which assesses the extinction risk of species and can be used to track progress in preventing species extinction.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 14: Life Below Water Target 14.2: By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans. Indicator 14.2.1: Proportion of national exclusive economic zones managed using ecosystem-based approaches.
SDG 15: Life on Land Target 15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species. Indicator 15.5.1: Red List Index.

Copyright: Dive into this article, curated with care by SDG Investors Inc. Our advanced AI technology searches through vast amounts of data to spotlight how we are all moving forward with the Sustainable Development Goals. While we own the rights to this content, we invite you to share it to help spread knowledge and spark action on the SDGs.

Fuente: news.mongabay.com

 

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