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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
By
MR. MEYNARDO LB. MONTEALEGRE
Minister
Philippine Mission to the United Nations

on
Agenda Item 85f: Convention on Biological Diversity

General Debate of the Second Committee
20 October 2004, New York


Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, allow me to express my delegation’s appreciation to the Secretary General for his reports and recommendations on the progress made in the implementation of UN environmental conventions.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement of Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and by Indonesia on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Let me add my delegation’s views on the issue of biodiversity.

Mr. Chairman,

In the early 19th century, an American native Indian, Chief Seattle, made a profound statement on the environment when he said, “Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth.”

Now in the 21st century, the world’s biodiversity resources are endangered and these could severely compromise life on earth. Conserving biodiversity resources require measures to protect the environment, better education and capacity-building, increased research, government support and international cooperation.

Indeed, Mr. Chairman, the challenges remain formidable. About three-quarters of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops have been lost over the last century. Of the 6,300 animal breeds alone, 1,350 are endangered or already extinct. It is therefore necessary to reduce the rate of the loss of biodiversity components, promote the sustainable use of biodiversity and address the major threats to it.

The Philippines welcomes and supports the initiatives of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and their partners by taking the lead role on international biodiversity issues in relation to their significant contributions to sustainable development.

We join the other Parties who committed themselves to achieve by 2010, a significant reduction of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national levels, as a contribution to poverty alleviation and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

Much more needs to be done in order to meet the 2010 target of the Biodiversity Convention. In this regard, my delegation welcomes the offer of the government of Brazil to host the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in the first half of 2006. The Philippines also joins the other delegations who already signed and ratified the Convention in urging those who have not done so to accede to the Convention at the earliest opportunity in order to make this Convention a universal instrument for all mankind.

We welcome the steps taken by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to promote closer collaboration with other treaty bodies and concerned international organizations. We associate ourselves with other Parties to the Convention in considering any further action needed with respect to the implementation of the objectives of the Convention and the sustainable use of biological diversity in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, including marine protected areas beyond national jurisdiction and deep seabed genetic resources.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.









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