Global efforts to protect biodiversity fall short

Failure For Biodiversity Convention As The World Flunks On All 2020 Targets

‘None of 20 biodiversity goals set in 10 fully met’

The other 14 goals have sadly not been achieved. Though the report speaks about few success stories in terms of conserving few species, expansion of protected areas and reduction in the global rate of deforestation, it paints a gloomy picture in terms of pollution of oceans due to accumulation of huge plastic waste, the disappearance of wetlands, continued threat to over 60% corals due to overfishing and risk of extinction to 1,940 local domesticated animal breeds out of 7,155 whose risk status are known across the globe. Habitat loss and degradation, especially in forests, remain high, and at the same time, pollution is still rampant, threatening species like coral reefs, among others.

"We are still seeing so much more public money invested in things that harm biodiversity than in things that support biodiversity", said David Cooper, lead author of the report and executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity.

"As nature degrades, new opportunities emerge for the spread to humans and animals of devastating diseases like this year's coronavirus", said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of CBD. "The Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5) should serve as a call to action for leaders across the globe". For instance, though some countries have managed more sustainable marine fish stocks, globally a third of marine stocks are still overfished - a higher proportion than 10 years ago, the report said. "We can no longer afford to cast nature to the side". While these areas have seen some progress, it's clear that not almost enough has been achieved in the 10-year period to indicate a change in the tide on diversity depression. "A lot still needs to be done", Ms Mrema said.

The report was originally slated to be released at a United Nations conference to set biodiversity targets for the next decade but the event in Kunming, China, was postponed until next year due to the pandemic. They set a 2020 deadline to save nature and meet the 20 targets, but not a single target has been met.

Countries are now in the process of negotiating new targets, The Guardian reported.

To set humanity on the right track, the report recommended eight transitions to improve our relationship with nature and protect Earth's and our own wellbeing. The science is clear: "we can start fixing the wrongs of the past by agreeing to protect at least 30% of our planet by 2030". Yet the natural world Guterres wrote, "offers some of the most effective solutions to avert the worst impacts of a warming planet". Earlier this month, a WWF assessment estimated that since 1970 close to 70 per cent of wild animals, birds and fish have been eradicated.

As per the report, the recent rate of deforestation is lower than that of the previous decade, but only by about one-third, but deforestation may be accelerating again in some areas.

"That means overhauling how we produce and consume food, so that no more land is converted for agriculture or precious habitats destroyed". The consistent thread throughout the report is that there is an urgent need to act to slow and end further loss.

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