Global: Failing biodiversity targets


A new report in the journal Science shows commitments made in 2002 by world leaders to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss have failed and instead we are continuing to see declines.

The findings represent the first assessment of how targets made through the 2002 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have not been met.

Compiling over 30 indicators – measures of different aspects of biodiversity, including
changes in species’ populations and risk of extinction, habitat extent and community
composition – the study found no evidence for a significant reduction in the rate of
decline of biodiversity, and that the pressures facing biodiversity continue to increase.
The synthesis provides overwhelming evidence that the 2010 target has not been

"Our analysis shows that governments have failed to deliver on the commitments they
made in 2002: biodiversity is still being lost as fast as ever, and we have made little
headway in reducing the pressures on species, habitats and ecosystems”, said Dr Stuart Butchart, of the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation
Monitoring Centre and BirdLife International, and the paper’s lead author.

"Our data show that 2010 will not be the year that biodiversity loss was halted, but it
needs to be the year in which we start taking the issue seriously and substantially increase our efforts to take care of what is left of our planet.”

Full press release (pdf)

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