22 October 2012
South Africa has been appointed chairperson of the Group of Like Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) for a period of two years.
Established in Cancun, Mexico in 2002, the group comprises 17 countries that, while representing less than 10% of the earth’s surface, support more than 70% of its animal and plant species between them.
The 17 members 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 the world for biological diversity, after Brazil and Indonesia.
South Africa’s appointment as chairperson of the group, taking over from the Philippines, was made during the 12th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in India last week.
Accepting the nomination, Water and Environmental Affairs Ministers Edna Molewa said South Africa was well aware of the pressures facing the world in the light of “climate change, habitat loss and degradation, over-exploitation and unsustainable use of biological resources, pollution and invasive alien species,” all factors contributing to loss of biodiversity.
Molewa urged the LMMC group to increase cooperation, particularly regarding the ratification and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, as well as the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and action plans.
South Africa will host a workshop in 2013 in order to develop a roadmap for the group until 2020.