Future generations face hunger, thirst, disease and disaster if we
carry on losing biodiversity. And as biodiversity plummets our use of
resources soars. WWF now estimates that biodiversity has declined by
more than a quarter in the last 35 years.
The stark warning comes as WWF launches its 2010 and Beyond: Rising
to the Biodiversity Challenge report which contains the latest Living
Planet index – the internationally agreed way to measure progress
towards the global target of reducing biodiversity loss by 2010– and
which reveals a continuing decline in biodiversity.
Food, clean water, medicines and protection from natural hazards are
important ingredients in maintaining our security and quality of life.
If they are to be maintained then the species, natural habitats and
ecosystems that support them need to be protected. In 2002 the world’s
governments set themselves a target to reduce the rate of biodiversity
loss by 2010, but WWF’s report shows that they are clearly not on track.
“Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct
impact on all our lives. Put simply, reduced biodiversity means
millions of people face a future where food supplies are more
vulnerable to pests and disease and where water is in irregular or
short supply,” said James Leape, WWF International’s Director General.
“No one can escape the impact of biodiversity loss because reduced
global diversity translates quite clearly into fewer new medicines,
greater vulnerability to natural disasters and greater effects from
In 2002 the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity set
clear targets to achieve a significant reduction of the current rate of
biodiversity loss at global, regional and national levels. However, the
2010 and Beyond: Rising to the Biodiversity Challenge report shows
governments are not on track to meet the 2010 target and that
environment ministries cannot reverse this trend without integrated
support at the highest level.
WWF is calling on governments during the Conference of the Parties
to the Convention on Biological Diversity Ninth Meeting (CBD COP 9) in
Bonn, 19-30 May 2008, to make the protection and sustainable use of
biodiversity a political priority.
Concretely, WWF is asking governments to:
- develop joint implementation plans between environment,
agriculture, food, water, finance, and health in order to take urgent
action to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010.
up to their commitment to put in place effective protected area
systems, with the full and effective participation of indigenous and
local communities and promoting equity and benefit sharing.
adopt a target to achieve zero net annual deforestation by 2020 and
initiate collaboration between the CBD and the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change to reduce green house gas emissions from
deforestation and degradation.
WWF’s International Policy Director, Gordon Shepherd, added: “This
is not rocket science. The reason governments are failing to meet their
biodiversity targets is because they haven’t provided adequate
financial and technical resources. They have also failed to develop
economic incentives and other measures to preserve biodiversity. In
particular environment ministries must work for the active support and
involvement of ministers with a mutual interest in saving biodiversity,
especially those responsible for development, finance, agriculture,
fisheries and climate."
“WWF is calling on all the governments that signed the Convention on
Biological Diversity in 2002 to do what they gave their word they would
do: implement the Strategic Plan by establishing national targets and
allocating sufficient financial, human and technical resources.”
World Wildlife Fund. May 2008.