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G8 Environment Ministers on the key challenges of their cooperation

A meeting of G8 Environment Ministers will be held from 24 to 26 May 2008 in Kobe, Japan. Also taking part in the meeting will be ministers from emerging economy countries (Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Korea and South Africa) and Slovenian Minister Janez Podobnik in his capacity as President of the EU Council of Environment Ministers. Environment and climate change issues will be the key theme of the G8 Summit of Heads of State being held in Japan in July. The meeting of Environment Ministers will prepare the subject matter of the Summit.

Global environment issues are acquiring ever broader political dimensions. However, the response of the international community is still insufficiently coordinated. The G8 countries will endeavour to unify their future actions and encourage other countries to do the same. At the meeting in Kobe, the ministers will discuss climate change, biodiversity and waste management. Discussions will focus mainly on an analysis of the role of the most developed countries in the international community and on the G8’s relations with international organisations, third countries and other stakeholders (the business sector, non-governmental organisations, etc.).

Immediately after the conclusion of the Environment Ministers Meeting in Kobe, the Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-9 CBD), currently being held in Bonn, will also come to an end. The international community has committed itself to significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, but achieving this target will be difficult on account, among other things, of the growing impact of climate changes.

Biodiversity and climate change are key themes of the Slovenian EU Presidency in the field of environment and were the focus of the Informal Meeting of EU Environment Ministers at Brdo in April. In Kobe, Mr Podobnik will present the conclusions of the informal ministerial conference. Their key message is that the criteria of sustainability must be fulfilled in the use of natural resources, including food and biofuel production, while taking account of regional and sub-regional characteristics in different parts of the world.


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Date: 23.05.2008