There are professionals from NGOs and academic institutions associated with supporting developing countries to make their biodiversity plans for 2018-2022. Some NGOs and academic institutions are good and some are bad. And it may well be that the 43 countries whose projected budgets for 2018-2022 are uploaded on the CBD website did not take any advice from the appointed advisors who were there to help them.
But nonetheless whether prepared by professionals or amateur politicians, everyone remotely associated with the Convention on Biological Diversity and indeed beyond that community should look at the figures in a survey on that website even before the deadline at the end of August when all bids for money under the treaty must be in, and if some course corrections can be made they should be made.
This is a failure of implementation of a major United Nations environment treaty on a a mega-scale.
The 43 countries with a total population of 3553 million people have governments that will spend on average just 1.6 USD per person on biodiversity conservation over 5 years from 2018-2022.
For one reason or another governments representing half the world’s population cannot or don’t want to or have no clue how to or are in some other way totally incapable of spending more on biodiversity conservation per person in their countries over five years than the value of a single meal.
It would be interesting to compare the actual or projected per capita expenditures on biodiversity conservation of developed countries.
Some sort of major failure seems to have happened at the Convention on Biological Diversity that would get countries even after 20 years of the existence of the treaty to put such a low value on plants and animals and project such low spending.
Is the awful Global Environment Facility, that asks countries on behalf of global corporations to prove that their biodiversity conservation is of “global benefit”, to blame? Is the CBD technocracy a hurdle? Are Indigenous Peoples and landless foragers and marginal cultivators who benefit from biodiversity conservation too irrelevant to whatever the dominant agenda is? Are consultants so super educated they fail to communicate with politicians? Are the corporations domiciled in developed countries getting what they need anyway by way of stealing biological material and so they don’t need to bother to pay their own Governments in the North to pay the Governments of the South to make the effort?
Anyone may draw any conclusion they want.
But the fact of the matter is that the sovereignty of countries of the South has been so thoroughly undermined that they will gain it only once western civilization has collapsed.
The genocide by western civilisation against the rest of the world is a permanent war on all fronts, military, economic, social and ecological. The 43 Governments representing half the world in that survey have no time or money to spend on biodiversity. They are too busy dealing with the noxious civilization from the West that is killing them.
The note accompanying the Iraqi submission is especially unbearably sad. There is only one line-item. It reads. 200,000 USD, 100,000 own contribution, to identify the distribution area of one of the most important endemic mammalian spp. in Iraq (Marshlands) (Nesokia Bunnii) and evaluate its habitat status. One could surely write a story of the lonely worker in Baghdad who decided to submit at least something to the CBD, knowing what he or she knows, seeing what he or she sees when she gets up and goes out in the morning, past shattered people, a shattered ecology and a ruined society. He or she must have sat in the bombed out office devastated by war, and thought that they may as well save the Mush-e bozorg-e talabi of the Tigris and Euphrates, and when western civilisation is finally gone, still the Marshland and the Nesokia Bunnii and the Marsh Arabs may remain.
The US has not joined the CBD. Other countries have. But either way the countries of the South have been defeated by this Convention nearly as much as by the civilisation that gave rise to the need for it.
is an environmental historian and blogger based in Bangalore. She specialises in the global environmental treaties, especially the conventions on climate change and biodiversity. She can be contacted at email@example.com