[Taxacom] what about biodiveristy money being robbed?

Donat Agosti agosti at amnh.org
Mon Jan 25 03:53:20 CST 2010

Today Bill Gates complains about climate change is funneling too much money
(USD100 billion/year) into climate change and thus will cut the budget for
fighting health issues for the poorest (see below). What about biodiversity
conservation related funding? What about Countdown2010 that already failed
before and thus leaves even less hope for biodiversity conservation? 


This should give us the chance to rethink what we do, and not did as
taxonomists to let this happen. We certainly can not do a lot, but even the
little we haven't done, be able to describe more efficiently what's out
there and disseminate the information in a way it is being picked up.








Bill Gates worries climate money robs health aid



Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:09am EST

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Bill Gates, the world's richest man and a leading
philanthropist, said on Sunday spending by rich countries aimed at combating
climate change in developing nations could mean a dangerous cut in aid for
health issues.

Gates, the Microsoft Corp co-founder whose $34 billion foundation is
fighting malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases in developing
countries, expressed concern about the amount of spending pledged at
December's Copenhagen global climate meeting.

Participants at the meeting agreed to a target of channeling $100 billion
per year to developing countries to combat climate change by 2020. Gates
said that amount represents more than three quarters of foreign aid
currently given by the richest countries per year.

"I am concerned that some of this money will come from reducing other
categories of foreign aid, especially health," Gates wrote in a letter,
released late on Sunday, describing the work of his foundation.

"If just 1 percent of the $100 billion goal came from vaccine funding, then
700,000 more children could die from preventable diseases," Gates added.

Taking the focus away from health aid could be bad for the environment in
the long run, said Gates, "because improvements in health, including
voluntary family planning, lead people to have smaller families, which in
turn reduces the strain on the environment."

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he runs with his wife Melinda and
father William Gates Sr., had an endowment worth $34 billion as of
September. Gates, 54, remains Microsoft chairman but focuses his attention
on his foundation.

Since starting in 1994, the foundation has handed out more than $21 billion
in grants.

Gates said he was worried generally about levels of government aid from rich
countries to poor countries slipping with tough economic conditions

"Because of budget deficits, there is significant risk that aid budgets will
either be cut or not increase much," Gates said in his letter.

He singled out Italy for criticism. "Italy was at the low end of European
givers even before the Berlusconi government came in and cut the aid by over
half, making them uniquely stingy among European donors," Gates said.

According to Forbes magazine, Gates was the richest man in the world in 2009
with an estimated fortune of $40 billion.



Dr. Donat Agosti



Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History and Naturmuseum der
Burgergemeinde Bern

Email: agosti at amnh.org

Web:  <http://antbase.org/> http://antbase.org / http://plazi.org

Blog:  <http://biodivcontext.blogspot.com/>

Skype: agostileu

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