Canada and EU given 'Dodo Awards’

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Having repeatedly winning “Fossil of the Day” awards at international climate conferences, Canada now has a new dishonor to be ashamed of …

From the Convention on Biological Diversity Alliance
Nagoya, Japan, October 25, 2010

Civil society organizations at the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have announced the winners of the Dodo Awards as the Convention begins its second week of negotiations. The Awards, named after the Dodo Bird — the quintessential symbol of biodiversity loss — signify governments’ failure to evolve.

The CBD Alliance, a global network of civil society organizations involved in the CBD, named the European Union and Canada the ‘Dodos of the Week,’ mainly due to their obstructive behavior in the Access and Benefit-Sharing process. The EU was named a Dodo as it has been the strongest opponent to the ABS Protocol against Biopiracy. As Chee Yoke Ling, of the Third World Network states:

“We were hoping that the ABS Protocol would be a historic treaty to correct past and current injustices of biopiracy. Instead, in Nagoya, developed countries so far have promoted their own interests, closing their eyes to injustice.”

The EU has also not been helpful in Biofuels, and continues to renege on their financial obligations to developing countries under the CBD.

Canada was awarded a Dodo for their unhelpful behavior in ABS, particularly in relation to Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. Canada was the only country to block reference to the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “From being the UN’s “honest broker”, Canada has slipped to become the country everybody loves to hate,” noted Canadian Pat Mooney of ETC Group.

China and Brazil were close runners up in the race for extinction. China, for weakening the Strategic Plan throughout, and Brazil for promoting biofuels at any cost, despite their known impacts on biodiversity and people.

The CBD Alliance also recognized those countries playing a positive role in the negotiations, thereby demonstrating the ability to evolve. This includes Norway (on geo-engineering), Bolivia (on financial resources), and the Philippines for their constant attention to biofuels, synthetic biology, financial resources and agricultural biodiversity.