Thinking Outside of the Box: GA’s Quest to Find Meaningful Solutions

DAWN – A wide variety of solutions on implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have been presented. Not surprisingly education, database and information sharing, regional planning and calls to reinforce existing frameworks have all been discussed. There have been some standout ideas presented in committee, but with little coverage. These ideas have furthering reaching consequences than a few empty promises.  

Asia Bloc has some noteworthy concepts, while not new, differentiate themselves from some of the more generic proposals. China spoke to idea of incorporating ‘ethical urban development’ with respect to protecting existing biological spaces in areas of rapid urban development. In order to prevent further environmental damage, it is crucial that the international community bring home the idea we need to be mindful of where we are developing. China expressed the need for the “reconciliation of urbanisation” in maintaining biological diversity. This point was largely unheard and blanketed under emphasis on ‘regional planning’. Singling out this particular issue allows for committee to be specific in their strategies as growing city centers push their limits.

Also from the Asia Bloc, the United Arab Emirates draws attention to marine biological diversity with an emphasis on overfishing and fish farming practices. This remains the only group to highlight the relationship between marine biological diversity and sustaining livelihoods. The regulation of the fishing industry is a vague call to action; however, it is commendable for trying to start a more specific discussion Specific actions need to be outlined, but this is a worthy mention as it addresses an area that affects multiple nations. Just as countries concerned over deforestation clauses focused on marine life should also be welcomed.

Another important idea is that of an educational exchange program, promoted by Israel. Having been successful in individual countries talk of promoting it on an international scale will help engage the next generation of leaders. If an international body like the United Nations could support matching country development needs with student interests change can begin happening at a local level.

These proposals are known yet prominent in that they present specific concerns for broad issues. They are also shift from the mainstream ideas discussed over the past few days in the General Assembly.