Press release

Major step to protect the world’s wildlife

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Wildlife around the world now has even greater protection thanks to an agreement reached at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad…

Wildlife around the world now has even greater protection thanks to an agreement reached at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India.

Countries from across the globe agreed to double the resources allocated to halting the decline in animal and plant species globally by 2020, which will allow countries to put in place concrete plans to protect wildlife and the natural environment.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon said:

“The commitment and willingness shown by all the nations who have come here to India has resulted in real progress being made. This agreement is about so much more than just money; it is about helping countries to share understanding and increase their capacity to protect biodiversity.

“I’d like to thank the Indian Government for hosting such a successful conference here in Hyderabad and for uniting colleagues from so many countries with a shared aspiration to protect the world’s wildlife.  Genuine help to protect the world’s biodiversity hotspots will flow from the Hyderabad agreement.”

The Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad was the first meeting since the significant conference in Nagoya, Japan two years ago when an agreement was reached to halt the loss of wildlife around the world. The Hyderabad meeting was important for keeping the commitments made in Nagoya on track and especially to agree a global plan on the resources - financial, technical and expertise - needed by countries to deliver projects on the ground.

The 193 parties have signed up for a substantial increase in global funding for biodiversity and in particular to double the total international flows of finance.

Mr Benyon saw first hand how business can generate growth and prosperity and help the environment. He visited cotton farmers on Thursday 18th October in the Warangal district with the Deputy High Commissioner, Richard Hyde. Farmers here have united, with the help of the WWF and Marks and Spencer, to learn techniques to reduce levels of pesticides and water whilst increasing yields of sustainable cotton. This means that UK consumers of Marks and Spencer’s ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ clothing know that their purchase is giving farmers a better life and ensuring wildlife can flourish.

Mr Benyon commented:

“This really shows the virtuous circle of a better income for farmers and a big win for wildlife. Meeting some of the farmers and seeing their cotton fields alive with birds and other wildlife was fascinating and emphasised for me just what we’re doing back at the conference to reverse the decline in global biodiversity. It really demonstrates that business and nature can thrive together to mutual benefit. It has been a huge pleasure to witness the partnership between India and the UK, generating green growth, jobs and prosperity on both sides of the world.”

Richard Benyon and the Deputy High Commissioner also visited an innovative and sustainable pharmaceuticals company, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which is leading the way in ‘green chemistry’. Dr Reddy’s is a zero discharge company which uses techniques such as recycling of waste and pollutants, and rainwater harvesting, not only benefitting the environment but also contributing to the company’s bottom line by making its operation more efficient.

Richard Hyde, Deputy High Commissioner, Hyderabad, said:

“In our visit to Dr Reddy’s and to the cotton plantations in Warangal we saw two excellent examples of partnership between the UK and India in promoting sustainable and profitable business. Mr Benyon highlighted the important role that business can play in helping to halt the decline of biodiversity around the world. Companies like Dr Reddy’s and Marks and Spencer have demonstrated that an ethical and sustainable approach can be profitable; that it is possible to do well by doing good.”

Dr Reddy’s has recently expanded their operation in the UK, creating jobs and harnessing British expertise to complement their successful and sustainable business model.