Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman welcomed a new biodiversity agreement reached in Nagoya, Japan, which sets new targets to protect the world's natural environment.
Speaking at the end of extended negotiations, she said:
'’These have been long and hard negotiations, but we have successfully achieved a new global plan to help protect our natural environment. We have also agreed an historic protocol which has been 18 years in the making, establishing a regime where developing countries will allow access to their genetic and natural resources in return for a share of the benefits for their use.
'’The new agreement states we will take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of habitats and species in order to ensure that by 2020 our natural environment is resilient and can continue to provide the essential services that we would otherwise take for granted. This will secure the planet’s variety of life, our well being and help eradicate poverty.
'’We have also secured an agreement to link climate change, global poverty and biodiversity together in protecting the world’s forests, which is essential if we are to achieve our aims in these areas. This was a key objective for the UK and this week I announced £100 million specifically to fund biodiversity projects in forest regions.
'’I and my colleagues from other EU member states have learnt the tough lessons from other negotiations and worked tirelessly at this conference to find common ground amongst nations so that this agreement can be reached.
'’We will now take this binding framework forward and put the key elements into effect in the Natural Environment White Paper to be published in spring 2011.’’