World leaders have failed to deliver commitments made in 2002 to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss, and have instead overseen alarming biodiversity declines. These finding are the result of a new 2010 Biodiversity Indicator Partnership (2010 BIP) paper published in leading journal Science and 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 achieved.
“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 or what is left of our planet”, said Dr Stuart Butchart of the United Nation Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP WCMC), and the papers lead author.
The indicators included in the study were developed and synthesised by the 2010 BIP. The Partnership, co-ordinated by UNEP-WCMC brings together over 40 organizations working internationally at the forefront of indicator development to provide the best available information on biodiversity trends.
The results from this study feed into the Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be released on May 10th, when government representatives will meet to discuss the 2010 target and how to address the biodiversity crisis.
“Biodiversity concerns must be integrated across all parts of government and business, and the economic value of biodiversity needs to be accounted for adequately in decision making. Only then will we be able to address the problem”, said Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary to the CBD.
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