World leaders need vision and political will to ensure we live in harmony with nature, says IUCN. This call comes in the run up to talks to halt the spiraling loss of biodiversity, which is ultimately threatening the existence of all life on earth.
Thousands of decision makers will meet in Nagoya, Japan, from 18 to 29 October, to discuss a ‘Big Plan’ for the next ten years to reduce the current pressures on the planet’s biodiversity. On the table at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10), are 20 targets designed to tackle the extinction crisis and restore the earth’s natural capital.
“In Japan we have a unique opportunity to get everyone – governments, businesses and the public – on board to address the crisis facing life on earth,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN. “We urge governments – and this means all government departments – to invest in our natural capital and stop the loss of biodiversity once and for all, by adopting a robust strategic plan with measurable and realistic targets.”
Targets to reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2010 haven’t been met and there is no sign that there’s been a reduction in the rate of decline of species, which are currently disappearing at up to 1,000 times faster than normal. Conservation action does work but there’s simply not enough of it. Recovering from dramatic changes in biodiversity is difficult and costly – and impossible in too many cases.
As a part of the ‘Big Plan’ to halt the loss of biodiversity, IUCN is calling for effective financing to fund efforts to save the natural world, funding which can be generated by moving towards a green economy. IUCN also calls for governments to pull out all the stops to reach agreement on a new international regime to give access to the world’s genetic resources while at the same time making sure that benefits derived from them are properly shared.
“We’re at the point of no return in so many areas of the natural world, losing countless numbers of species and the essential services of the natural environment in which we live,” says Jane Smart, Director, IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group. “The conference in Nagoya could be the last chance to come up with a new plan that works – there is no Plan B and certainly no Planet B.”
IUCN is calling for parties in Nagoya to take effective and immediate action to halt the loss of biodiversity, so that by 2020 all the necessary policies and actions are in place and are being implemented. By 2050, biodiversity must be valued and conserved, restored and wisely used, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people. The global economic situation and the need for widespread cuts in public expenditure can’t be ignored. However, the Nagoya meeting is an opportunity for governments to recognize the link between biodiversity and their economies and seal a new ‘Big Plan’ that paves the way for a global green economy.
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IUCN helped to develop the Convention on Biological Diversity and plays a key role in its implementation. Delegates at the conference will try to ensure that sound biodiversity science underpins the decisions taken there and that governments commit to an ambitious, courageous and yet realistic plan to halt the loss of biodiversity, one that could guarantee the future for all life on earth.