08 May 2010

Save Biodiversity: target missed

It was 2002 when 191 nations made the promise to slow down the rate of biodiversity loss around the globe by 2010.

Now, in 2010, a recent article published on the journal Science shows that all these nations did not honour their commitment.

31 specific indicators were used, including birds numbers, fish stocks, coral reefs, rainforest, state of wild animal populations, and genetic diversity.

The conclusion was simple and depressing, thought not totally unexpected: “… biodiversity is still being lost as fast as ever, and we have made little headway in reducing the pressures on species, habitats and ecosystems," commented Stuart Butchart first author of the study. His colleague Matthew Walpole added “All the evidence indicates that governments have failed to deliver on their commitments, and we have failed to meet the 2010 target”.


The article:
S.H.M. Butchart, M. Walpole, B. Collen, A. van Strien, J.P.W. Scharlemann, R.E.A. Almond, J.E.M. Baillie, B. Bomhard, C. Brown, J. Bruno, K.E. Carpenter, G.M. Carr, J. Chanson, A.M. Chenery, J. Csirke, N.C. Davidson, F. Dentener, M. Foster, A. Galli, J.N. Galloway, P. Genovesi, R.D. Gregory, M. Hockings, V. Kapos, J.-F. Lamarque, F. Leverington, J. Loh, M.A. McGeoch, L. McRae, A. Minasyan, M. Hernández Morcillo, T.E.E. Oldfield, D. Pauly, S. Quader, C. Revenga, J.R. Sauer, B. Skolnik, D. Spear, D. Stanwell-Smith, S.N. Stuart, A. Symes, M. Tierney, T.D. Tyrrell, J.-C. Vié, R. Watson. 2010.
Global Biodiversity: Indicators of Recent Declines.
Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1187512
Abstract -- In 2002, world leaders committed through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species’ population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent/condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.

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