Cancun to host UN Conference on Biodiversity

COP13 at Cancun inDecember 2016.

Mexico will host the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP13) of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CDB). Representatives from 196 countries, including researchers, scientists, local authorities and members of civil society groups are expected to attend.

The CBD is considered to be the most important global instrument for the preservation of biodiversity and its sustainable use. It also focuses on the fair and equitable distribution of benefits obtained from the use of genetic resources. The event is slated to take place in December 2016.

At COP12, which took place in Pyeongchang, South Korea in October 2014, representatives from CDB signatory countries chose Mexico as the seat of the next Conference, taking into account its “megadiversity.”

After reviewing options, the Secretariat of the CBD and the Mexican government agreed that the city of Cancun would host the upcoming COP13. This was decided after CDB Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias visited Mexico to set forth a working agenda and analyze candidates cities.

biodiversidad cancun cop13

The conference will focus discuss ways to meet its previously set goals as well as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which were approved during the COP 10 which took place in Nagoya, Japan in 2010. Attendees will also focus on the Conference’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2020.

This would be the first time that the CDB’s Conference of the Parties simultaneously takes places with the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (MOP 8) and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (COP/MOP2).

Mexico signed the CDB in 1992 and, a year later, became the first megadiverse country to ratify it. It is also one of the main actors in negotiations on the Cartagena Protocol (in force since 2003) and the Nagoya Protocol (in force since October 12, 2014).

Mexico is home to anywhere between 8 to 12% of the world’s species, despite the fact that it occupies a mere 1.5% of the Earth’s surface.

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