Launch of Global Biodiversity Outlook (GB0-3)


"The news is not good," said Ahmed Djoglaf, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on the release of the third Global Biodiversity Outlook (GB0-3).

Late last month it was reported in Science that efforts to halt global biodiversity loss are failing. This isn't news to most conservationists but the scale of the losses were still quite surprising. With the release of GBO-3 the news doesn't begin to get any better.

"We continue to lose biodiversity at a rate never before seen in history - extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the historical background rate," continued Djoglaf. The report also states how damaging these nature losses are to the economies of the world. The report says that many ecosystems may soon reach "tipping points" and if equated to share prices Bill Jackson, Deputy Director General of IUCN, said: "If the world made equivalent losses in share prices, there would be a rapid response and widespread panic."


One project trying to map the connections between nature and economics is The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). TEEB are attempting to calculate the value of nature for us and our economies. Forest loss was one of the first areas to be mapped and astonishingly they calculated an annual deficit of $2-5 trillion, far outstripping the losses when the banks collapsed.

Of course there may be major problems with applying a value to nature as to some it assumes that the role of the forests can be done by an equivalent technological fix but it is necessary governments around the world awake to the very real financial and social implications of continued biodiversity extermination.

Related links:

Download the full report

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