Thousands of animals and plants around the world face extinction with species currently disappearing at a rate up to 1,000 times higher than normal. If we do nothing to stop the decline not only will species disappear forever but the very fabric of our society, our very existence, will be threatened.
In response to this crisis, IUCN, along with the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank, is setting up the Save Our Species (SOS) programme with the objective of building a major global species conservation fund by 2015. SOS will be launched in October at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan where targets will be set to reduce the global rate of biodiversity loss. Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Head of IUCN's Species Programme, explains more about SOS and what it hopes to achieve.