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Extramural Research

Global Statement of Need

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In September 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted the Millennium Declaration exit EPA, which identified the fundamental values essential for international relations in the 21st century, and set out a range of goals and targets relevant to environment and development. Subsequently, the UN Secretary General identified a series of eight Millennium Development Goals extracted from the declaration, and associated these with a series of 18 targets and 48 indicators.

During preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the UN Secretary General proposed the “WEHAB” initiative to provide focus and impetus to action in the five key thematic areas of water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity and ecosystem management. The thematic paper on biodiversity and ecosystem management clearly identifies the importance of biodiversity in food security, health, income generation, reduced vulnerability and ecosystem services.

As the Millennium Development Goals are concerned with very much the same issues – hunger, health, poverty and environmental sustainability – it has become increasingly clear that the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services should be seen as an important factor in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. At the same time there is concern that the drive to achieve some of the goals in the absence of consideration of biodiversity issues may impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services potentially causing further problems.

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