Accountability: G7 Elmau Progress Report 2015

Cover G7 Elmau Progress Report on Biodiversity

Cover G7 Elmau Progress Report on Biodiversity

© BMZ

The G7 has released its Elmau Progress Report: Biodiversity – A vital foundation for sustainable development.

Publication has been timed to coincide with the International Day for Biological Diversity. Every year, prior to the meeting of heads of state and government, the G7 presents a report on the progress it has made in meeting its development-related commitments. Abundant biological diversity and intact ecosystems are the foundations of our survival. Safeguarding these vital elements is essential for sustainable development worldwide.

For many years now, Germany and the other G7 countries have been providing substantial levels of funding for the conservation of biodiversity. These countries are among the largest donors for biodiversity protection. Together with their partner countries, they are engaged in many different programmes in this field.

In Heiligendamm in 2007 and in Deauville in 2011, the G7 already made a commitment to intensify its efforts to protect our planet's vital natural resources. The present Report provides a transparent account of the progress made towards slowing the loss of biodiversity.

The Report contains the following key political messages:

  • The G7 acknowledges the importance of biodiversity for human well-being, sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
  • The G7 has acted on its commitment through policies, finance and other means to protect species and their habitats while also addressing the multiple causes of biodiversity loss.
  • The G7 is aware that significant challenges still need to be tackled in order to improve the status of biodiversity and ecosystems worldwide.

In its latest Progress Report, the G7 also acknowledges the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services for other development goals, especially poverty reduction, food security, health, and climate action. The Report thus also shows the potential synergies between various commitments that the G7 has made in different fields.

G7 pledges for the "L'Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI)"

At the Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, the G8 launched the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI). Together with other countries, they pledged 22 billion US-Dollar in Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the AFSI. Since then, the G8/G7 has reported annually in their Accountability Reports on the fulfilment of these pledges. This is being continued until all donors have fully disbursed the money. You can find the current table here (as at July 2015).

Background

The G7/G8 regularly report on progress made on implementing commitments that the Heads of State and Government make at their summit meetings. That creates transparency and increases the Group's credibility. A continuous accountability process was launched and the G7 Accountability Working Group (AWG) established in 2009.

Comprehensive reports detailing implementation of the commitments made at summit meetings are drawn up every three years. The last detailed report (Lough Erne Accountability Report) was written in 2013 under the UK Presidency. It evaluated progress made on implementing a total of 61 G8 commitments. The Japanese Presidency will be responsible for publishing the next comprehensive report in 2016.

The Working Group is currently reforming the accountability process in the light of past experience. For example, the list of commitments to be included in future reports has been reduced to a total of 42.

The BMZ holds the chair of the Accountability Working Group throughout the German G7 Presidency. The AWG is tasked with advising the Sherpas (the chief negotiators of the Heads of State and Government) based on experience gained in the accountability process.

Preserving biodiversity is all part of efforts to protect our vital natural resource base. The G8 made important commitments in this field at the 2007 and 2011 summits in Heiligendamm and Deauville. Now, biodiversity is to be the focus of this year's G7 accountability report. So we will be picking up from where we left off in 2007 in Heiligendamm, when Germany put biodiversity on the agenda. And, under our G7 presidency, we will be providing a reliable and transparent means of verifying whether the group has delivered on its commitments in this field.

Speech by State Secretary Dr. Friedrich Kitschelt at the opening event for the German G7 Presidency, 15 January 2015 in Berlin