India opens developed world’s cash tap

Biodiversity-based funding from developed countries to developing countries remained a hot potato issue till the closing night of the XI Conference of Parties. But it was India’s strategy, in its role as president, that was instrumental in countries reaching a consensus.

After two weeks of deliberations on the need to conserve biodiversity and the funds needed to achieve the goal, it was decided that the financial resource flow from the developed countries to the developing countries will be doubled by 2015.
The CoP first established a contact group, comprising a few countries, to discuss resource mobilisation during the first week, but after a few days of deliberations the contact group could not reach a consensus. This contact group was re-arranged into regional groups to engage in further discussions among themselves and come back to the negotiating table. But that, too, didn’t work.
T.S. Trimurti, joint secretary, MEA and an important member of the Indian delegation, said, “The contact group was meeting and its draft decision had lots of issues. Then the minister said on Friday, ’Let the presidency take over and the presidency can table a draft.’ The contact group was discussing for two weeks and nothing came of it, but this was where we played a part.”
He said the European Union and Canada were not even willing to negotiate this issue. “Canada had serious reservations earlier, but they set them aside after the draft was tabled,” he said. The draft proposal was deliberately introduced very late. “We didn’t get into this earlier because we didn’t want to compromise the contact groups. If we had got into it earlier, we would have seemed over-anxious and nobody would negotiate with India,” he explained.

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