Entering a new decade, we leave behind the failed targets for reducing the loss of biodiversity by 2010. A new plan, adopted in Nagoya by governments meeting at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2010, consists of 20 targets to tackle the extinction crises by 2020.

Speaking at the conference, Julia Morton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General had the following to say

“We’ve seen history in the making here in Nagoya with a landmark agreement now in place that defines the future for life on earth. Here in Japan the international community have moved closer to the realisation that it’s time we stopped considering nature as expendable, and any related expenditure a write-off – it’s time we valued and conserved nature.”

According to the latest IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ we couldn’t be facing a more dire situation, with a third of species assessed being seriously threatened, with some facing the risk of extinction. The benefits of nature that we have willfully used with total disregard to the future are fast running out.

Speaking of recent successes, Jane Smart, Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group, said

“What we’ve decided at this meeting will change the future of life on Earth – and many solutions are available to us. We know that targeted conservation action works. Results from the latest Red List show us that the status of biodiversity would have declined by an additional 20 percent at least, if conservation action had not been taken.

The scale of the threats facing nature is now clear. Government have agreed precisely in the forming of 20 clear targets on what needs to be done, enshrining them in an agreed decision to adopt a Strategic Plan at COP10. We now have the opportunity to bring this to life.”

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