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News 22 May 2007 Belgium joins the Countdown 2010 initiative !

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Release date 13/06/2007

Brussels, Belgium, 22 May 2007. Belgium launched today the Countdown 2010 Initiative demonstrating its strong support for halting the loss of biodiversity.

By signing the Countdown 2010 Declaration, the Federal Minister for the Envrionment and Pensions commits to strengthen its engagement and contribution to the 2010 biodiversity target through the adoption and implementation of the Belgian National Biodiversity Strategy 2006-2016.

“Also in Belgium, biodiversity is at stake. By participating in this structural partnership, the Belgian government commits itself in collaboration with IUCN to put a stop to the loss of biodiversity and to protect and offer new opportunities to the threatened fauna and flora before 2010”, says Bruno Tobback, Federal Minister for the Environment and Pensions.

In joining the Initiative, Bruno Tobback, Minister for the Environment and Pensions, commits  the Belgian Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment to ensure that biodiversity considerations are integrated in the agenda of other sectors such as transport, science, development cooperation and economic development.

The implementation of the Belgian National Biodiversity Strategy 2006-2016 will be supported by national biodiversity communication initiatives aiming at communicating the importance of nature and its diversity for the human-well being and raising awareness of the 2010 biodiversity target to halt the loss of biodiversity by that time.

The Federal Minister for the Environment also committed itself to promote political efforts for reaching the 2010 biodiversity target on the European and international levels.

Tamas Marghescu, IUCN’s Regional Director for Europe, welcomed these commitments and highlighted that “The signing of the Countdown 2010 Declaration marks another milestone in Belgium’s efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity. With its plans, especially the National Biodiversity Strategy, Belgium laid another strong foundation for a successful EU Presidency in 2010. We look forward to closely cooperate with Belgium to reach the 2010 biodiversity target”.

The signing ceremony took place during the celebrations of the International Biodiversity Day at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

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