We've Already Failed The World's Biodiversity Goals for 2020

A Hawksbill sea turtle off Lady Elliot Island, Australia. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

A mid-term assessment of the 20 biodiversity-related Aichi Targets which were agreed upon by 150 nations at the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010 reveals these goals are unlikely to be met.

The global community has made some progress but the targets for 2020 will not be met unless efforts are stepped up significantly.

Derek Tittensor of the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre and a long list of colleagues from around the world whittled down a set of 163 biodiversity indicators to 55 which are both scientifically sound and directly related to 16 of the 20 Aichi Targets.

For each of these indicators, the researchers compared data from 2010 with projected values for 2020, finding that peoples’ awareness of the biodiversity crisis has been increasing significantly, and that more effort is being made to address it, but that funds, legislation and action are simply not keeping pace.

They say that the situation may be worsening for some of the Aichi Targets, including those related to pollution and invasive species.

The rapid development of open, online databases as well as novel biodiversity indicators could improve such forecasts in the future, according to the researchers.

But for now, it appears that efforts must be redoubled in order to even come close to meeting the Aichi Targets by the end of the current decade.

A WWF report this week said half the world’s animals have been lost since 1970.

The mid-term analysis is published in the journal Science.

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