What’s Going On Here?
Plans for new UN targets to curb biodiversity loss have been shared in draft by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
Biodiversity, and the benefits it provides, is fundamental to human well-being and a healthy planet. Despite ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to continue or worsen under business-as-usual scenarios.
What Does This Mean?
Last September we shared the devastating news that none of 20 UN targets to curb the loss of biodiversity globally by 2020 had been met.
Since then, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity has worked up new goals for a Paris-style UN Agreement to halt biodiversity loss. The draft goals have been through scientific and financial review and will be negotiated at a key summit in Kunming, China – expected in 2022.
The CBD has set out a vision for 2050, with interim milestones in 2030 supported by 21 actions.
“By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people”
Some of the proposed actions and targets:
- Reduce the rate of extinctions by 90%
- Reduce pollution: Cut nutrient run off in half, reduce pesticides use by two thirds and eliminate plastic waste discharge
- Maintain 90% of genetic diversity within all species
- Respect the rights of indigenous communities in biodiversity decision making
- Increase the share of monetary and non-monetary benefits received by providers, including holders of traditional knowledge
Why Should We Care?
The climate crisis and the ecological crisis are inextricably linked. We are lacking a Paris-style UN led global agreement for halting biodiversity loss, and while we are waiting, the ecological destruction is still mounting:
- Wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in less than 50 years – WWF
- 1 million of an estimated 8 million species are at risk of extinction – IPEBS
- Human impact can explain 96% of all mammal species extinctions of the last 100,000 years – University of Gothenburg
Once they are agreed, the mammoth goals need transformational change and a redesign in the way we produce, consume, and trade goods. We will see these transformations in our daily lives, from agriculture and food to products and packaging.
Going on past performance, the odds are low, but just imagine: it’s 2030 and you’re reading a Curious.earth piece about how the world met all the “ Kunming biodiversity targets” and is well on the way to the 2050 goal of living in harmony with nature.
- Boost biodiversity locally and join or donate to your local wildlife group e.g. RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, RSPCA
- Explore the economics of valuing biodiversity and read our piece on Putting a price on our planet: Independent review urges government, business & citizens to value the natural world