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News Italy: Prestigiacomo Introduces G8 Environment Ministers' Meeting in Syracuse - 'G8-Plus' adopts charter to protect biodiversity

The struggle against climate change and the preservation of biodiversity will be the two main issues on the agenda at the environment ministers' meeting due to be held in Syracuse from 22 to 24 April, Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said, introducing the agenda for the summit to her European counterparts in Brussels on 2 March.  An informal preparatory meeting at expert level is on the slate for 9 March to fine-tune and map out the official agenda, which will be published almost immediately thereafter.

The goal of the Syracuse talks is to send out an important political message on biodiversity and to facilitate dialogue on the issue of climate change ahead of the Copenhagen conference in December of this year, where the debate is going to focus on the world's "post-Kyoto" setup.

The G8 member countries will be joined in Syracuse by the Czech Republic, which currently the European Union duty presidency, and by the European Commission.  Representatives of China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, Australia, the Republic of Korea and Egypt have also been invited to attend the talks, along with Denmark in its capacity as host to next December's UN climate conference.  And several international organisations and representatives of civil society will also be attending the meeting.

The meeting's first two working sessions will be devoted to climate change.  The debate on the first day of the talks will be focusing on the opportunities offered by new technologies to foster economic recovery.  Also, on the basis of a commitment that emerged in the course of last year's G8 Summit in Toyako, the discussion is going to focus on how to promote clean energy technology in order to address the dual challenge of climate change and energy security.

Talks on the second day of the meeting in Syracuse will be devoted to exploring the various "post-Kyoto" options, ahead of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen.  The environment ministers will be discussing ways of reconciling financial commitment to market stabilisation with the investment programmes required to cut emissions.  And finally, the third session will be devoted to the new prospects of biodiversity ahead of International Year of Biodiversity in 2010.

The environment ministers' meeting in Syracuse from 22 to 24 April is the fourth of the ministerial meetings on the agenda between 1 January and the final Summit on the island of La Maddalena, on the slate for 8 to 10 July.  It will be preceded by a forum at the technical level on low carbon content technologies, which will be held in Trieste from 3 to 5 April 2009.

G8 Environment Ministers' Meeting 

See in the attached document: the press release of the French Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Territorial Development. Main points:

  • France has called to make plans for even more green and more linking the two crises: the economic and ecological one.
  • France proposed that the developed countries agree in Copenhagen to finance 100% of development of electric energy in Africa to become the first continent with a truly renewable energy.
  • France reiterated the importance of the creation of a right of access to water and sanitation.
  • For the first time, the G8 countries have discussed the links between children's health and the environment.
  • The G8 countries have adopted a document on biodiversity "Syracuse Charter", which is in the eyes of France a first positive step but it is now necessary to create a specific platform that will, like the IPCC for the climate, to the interface between science and politics. France has called to launch this IPBES before 2010.
  • The 25-point Syracuse Charter explicitly links safeguarding biodiversity to the fight against global warming, saying: "Biodiversity and ecosystem services are critical for regulating our climate." The charter also urges raised awareness that "ecosystems provide a steady flow of goods and services" -- by providing clean drinking water, pollinating crops and decomposing waste, for example -- "and the costs of their loss."
  • The Syracuse Charter underscores "the key role that biodiversity and ecosystem services play in underpinning human well-being and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals," urging action to protect biodiversity in the forestry, fishery and agriculture sectors.

Other related press releases:


Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information G8AMBIENTE.IT
Keyword(s) climate change, biodiversity
Geographical coverage Italy
News date 08/04/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH