Where the Luddites are...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I've noticed there has been a huge uptick in articles about biodiversity in the last few weeks. Much of this is driven by that fact that the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (COP10) is being held in Nagoya Japan. 

Biodiversity is a problem, particularly in the area of over fishing controversy and the difficulty in setting fishing polices between nations. Larger exotic mammals are also threatened, and of course there is the frightening problem of the resurgence of  wheat stem rust. All serious topics for conservationists.

Unfortunately, the biodiversity issue is also a powerful Luddite magnet In fact for a brief time, after the Great Hole in the Ozone Crisis and before the rise of AGW, it was the Luddite issue of choice. I suspect with Climate Change losing steam it will return to the front burner with that group.

On biodiversity we're already seeing things like the following:

Prentice argues that biodiversity protection is not just up to national governments.

"Municipalities have to share that responsibility," he said. "And, frankly, all of us as citizens have to be interested in protecting the biodiversity of the planet."

Heather Hamilton, executive co-ordinator of the Canadian Biodiversity Institute, agrees that most biodiversity issues are local issues.

She cited the plight of the Blanding's turtle in the South March Highlands of the Ottawa suburb of Kanata. The turtle is an threatened species and shares the Highlands with 18 other threatened species. That didn't stop the City of Ottawa from splitting its habitat in half with a road extension.
Back to the Biodiversity Drawing Board

and this:

The strategy says biodiversity should be ''mainstreamed'' - that all Australians must take responsibility for improving wildlife protection if threatened ecosystems are to have the best chance of surviving climate change.
It calls for a 25 per cent boost in the number of Australians and organisations taking part in biodiversity conservation.

''If we continue to live unsustainably, we risk the degeneration of the ecological systems that support our life and our nation's productivity,'' says the report, endorsed by state and federal environment ministers. The Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council strategy is likely to receive a mixed response from green groups, which have called for more ambitious targets to protect threatened species.
Biodiversity plan to lock up land 

and of course what Luddite could ignore genetic engineering in an issue like this:

The 12-day Convention on Biological Diversity summit in Nagoya is intended to head off the rapid loss of plant and animal species that is happening around the world. The belief is that a more diversified global ecosystem has a better chance of protecting life. 

To facilitate this, summit participants are looking at things like hard targets to prevent deforestation and implementing new rules and regulations that would see victims of biodiversity loss compensated. They are also examining potential rules on sharing genetic material to ensure corporations don't get a stranglehold over biodiversity.
But Canada has already been blamed for being obstructionist in several aspects of the biodiversity meetings. Chief among these is the fact that Canada objects to a reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a protocol over sharing the proceeds from the sale of genetic material with sovereign populations.

For that, Canada has already won a "Dodo Award"—similar to the Fossil Awards handed out during climate change summits—by a network of NGOs following the bio-diversity summit. 

Government opposes biodiversity protocols

Let's see... turtles, check; sustainability, check; UN Declaration, check. Been there and done that, and  I'm also sure there is a shake down of money in there somewhere that I've missed.

The shame of it is that this is a serious issue. Conservation, like pollution reduction, is a worthy goal. However, already I'm seeing the usual buzzwords, wild 'goals' being demanded and tisk-tisking over humans daring to cast their shadow on the Earth.