BERLIN (IDN) – The international community acknowledged Germany’s commitment to sustainable development as representatives of about 100 countries, gathered in Panama City at the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), decided on April 19 to base the global research body’s Secretariat in Bonn.
Germany now hopes that Bonn will be chosen as the headquarters of the Green Climate Fund as well, for which it is preparing an official bid. The Fund was established at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, in November 2011. It is intended to provide financial support to developing countries as they transform their economies to low-carbon ones and adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced the plans at a gathering of Ambassadors on March 28, 2012 in Bonn as part of a concerted bid to muster support for the City as the seat of IBPES, an international policy-consulting forum intended to fulfil a role analogous to that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“Preserving biodiversity is no less vital than climate change issues. It is imperative if we are to sustain our planet’s ecosystems. IPBES is purported to provide policy-makers with independent scientific information as a sound basis on which to make their decisions,” Westerwelle said.
The choice of the former West German capital, in the face of tough competition from South Korea, India, Kenya and France, was far from coincidental. Bonn, which proudly calls itself a “UN City”, has developed into a hub of international cooperation since the unification of Germany in 1990 and in the aftermath of the federal capital moving to Berlin.
In addition to several international organizations and institutions, such as the IUCN Environmental Law Center (IUCN ELC), Germany’s Federal City Bonn currently hosts 17 United Nations institutions. These include the UN Volunteers (UNV), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC), which opened in Brussels in January 2004 replacing nine closed UN Information Centres in European capitals, following a decision by the UN General Assembly, also maintains a contact point in Bonn…