South Africa appointed Chairperson of the Group of Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) at the Cop 11 on Biodiversity
India, 19 October 2012
On the margins of the High Level Segment of the 12th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity being held in India, South Africa received an overwhelming vote from the Group of Like Minded Megadiverse Countries (commonly known as the LMMC’s) as the new Chairperson of the Group for a period of two years until the next meeting of the Conference of Parties to be held in Korea in 2014.
This nomination follows yesterday’s announcement by Philippine’s Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Ernesto Adobo, the outgoing Chairperson of the LMMC, Philippines during the High Level Segment of Ministers of Environment throughout the world.
Minister Edna Molewa accepting the nomination after SA was appointed Chairperson of the Group of LMMC at the Cop 11 on Biodiversity held in India.
Megadiverse countries are a group of countries that contain the majority of the Earth's species and are therefore considered extremely biologically diverse. This group of countries represents less than 10% of the global surface, but supports more than 70% of the biological diversity on earth.
The Group of Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries was established in 2002 in Cancun, Mexico as a consultation and cooperation mechanism in order to promote parties’ common interests and priorities related to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The Declaration, establishing the Group, acknowledged that biological resources and the associated environmental services have an immense strategic, economic and social value, and offer development opportunities to the populations of these countries and the international community.
The megadiverse countries are a group of countries that harbor the majority of the Earth's species and are therefore considered extremely biodiverse. Conservation International identified 17 megadiverse countries in 1998. This group of countries represents less than 10% of the global surface, but supports more than 70% of the biological diversity on earth. The 17 members of the LMMC are Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, and Venezuela.
South Africa ranks third in biological diversity, after Brazil and Indonesia.
Accepting the nomination, Ms Edna Molewa, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs indicated that South Africa is privileged to be chosen to lead such an auspicious group of countries mandated to conserve and protect the major chunk of the world’s prestigious biological and associated cultural resources which underpins the countries’ economies.
"South Africa is not blind to the pressures facing Megadiverse countries and the rest of the world in light climate change, habitat loss and degradation, over-exploitation and unsustainable use of biological resources, pollution, invasive alien species, etc. which concomitantly precipitate biodiversity loss," added Minister Molewa on the last day of the eleventh Conference of Parties (COP 11) being held in India.
The Minister further urged the LMMC Group to heighten co-operation amongst parties in particular in respect of the ratification and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, resource mobilisation in order to facilitate revision and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans. These efforts, she added, will go a long way in assisting to realise Rio+20 vision of the “future we want”.
South Africa has committed to host a workshop in 2013 to develop a roadmap for the Group until 2020.
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