Norway will focus its intervention on three aspects of sustainable development - biological diversity, climate change and sustainable forest management, and disaster risk reduction.
Norway welcomes the positive outcome of the Nagoya conference. The Conference of the Parties to the CBD, which came to a close last week in Japan, emphasised the crucial importance of reducing the rate of loss of biological diversity. Ensuring food security through the conservation of biodiversity is an important weapon in the global fight against poverty and climate change.
We need to strengthen the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Norway thus welcomes the agreement reached in June in Busan, Republic of Korea, to establish an Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The High Level Event on Biodiversity endorsed this agreement, and we hope the General Assembly will do the same, preferably before the International Year of Biodiversity comes to a close.
Sustainable forest management is an important element in the overall effort to reduce carbon emissions and foster equitable long-term development. As such, emissions from deforestation and forest degradation should be included in a new global agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
It was an honour for Norway to host the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference in May, which established the REDD+ Partnership. The Partnership Document has now been adopted by 67 countries.
The purpose of the Partnership is to get effective, transparent and coordinated fast-start action on REDD+ started and financed while UNFCCC negotiations continue. We will focus on actions, and promote an agreement on REDD+ in Cancun.
We can expect a higher frequency of natural disasters, like the flood in Pakistan or the earthquake in Haiti, in the years to come. This is partly due to the effects of climate change, urbanisation in disaster-prone areas and destruction of natural coping mechanisms. Climate change adaptation measures must therefore be better integrated with disaster risk reduction in our sustainable development efforts.
Thanks to important research on extreme weather and natural disasters, we can predict where and when the next event will occur. However, there is still a gap between this knowledge and what we actually do to mitigate the effects of disasters. Building capacity on prevention and response in the countries and regions that are most affected is key to saving lives. Much is being done within this field, but the efforts are still too fragmented.
Norway wishes to stress once again the tight relationship between development and environment, and the need to link these two agendas more closely together. This is of paramount importance for a successful outcome of the Rio conference on sustainable development in 2012. We therefore encourage broad participation in this process.