Africa / Asia / Biodiversity / Environment / Indigenous Breeds / Latin America

We have just ten years to stem biodiversity losses, UN Nagoya meeting hears

Native chicken of Mozambique

A native chicken of Mozambique (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

Richard Black, the environment reporter at the BBC, reports from Nagoya, Japan, yesterday (18 October 2010)  that delegates at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity will consider adopting new set of targets for 2020 that aim to tackle biodiversity loss.

‘The UN biodiversity convention meeting has opened with warnings that the ongoing loss of nature is hurting human societies as well as the natural world. The two-week gathering aims to set new targets for conserving life on Earth.

‘Japan’s Environment Minister Ryo Matsumoto said biodiversity loss would become irreversible unless curbed soon. Much hope is being pinned on economic analyses showing the loss of species and ecosystems is costing the global economy trillions of dollars each year. . . .

‘. . . Earlier this year, the UN published a major assessment—the Global Biodiversity Outlook—indicating that virtually all trends spanning the state of the natural world were heading downwards, despite conservation successes in some regions. It showed that loss and degradation of forests, coral reefs, rivers and other elements of the natural world was having an impact on living standards in some parts of the world—an obvious example being the extent to which loss of coral affects fish stocks. . . .

‘On the table in Nagoya is a comprehensive draft agreement that would tackle the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, as well as setting new targets for conservation. At the heart of the idea is the belief that if governments understand the financial costs of losing nature, they can adopt new economic models that reward conservation and penalise degradation. A UN-sponsored project called The Economics of Ecosytems and Biodiversity calculates the cost at US$2–5 trillion per year, predominantly in poorer parts of the world. . . .

‘However, the bitter politicking that has soured the atmosphere in a number of UN environment processes—most notably at the Copenhagen climate summit—looms over the Nagoya meeting. . . .’

Read the whole article at BBC: ‘Ten years’ to solve nature crisis, UN meeting hears, 18 October 2010.

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