Study: World governments fail to deliver on 2010 biodiversity target

May 07, 2010
World governments fail to deliver on 2010 biodiversity target

(PhysOrg.com) -- World leaders have failed to deliver commitments made in 2002 to reduce the global rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, says a study co-authored by a Visiting Professor from the University of Bath.

Instead there has been an alarming decline in the number of species on the planet.

Simon Stuart, Visiting Professor at the Lab in the University’s Department of Biology & Biochemistry and Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, has called for governments to act urgently.

He said: “We now know that the 2010 target to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss hasn’t been met. It can no longer be ‘business as usual’ without there being serious consequences for all life on earth.

“We need governments and all of society to understand that the biodiversity crisis is real and is happening now. World leaders faced the economic crisis head on. We need that same level of investment and commitment for the environment.”

The study, published last week in the journal Science, used more than 30 indicators to measure different aspects of biodiversity, including species’ populations and risk of extinction. The study was a collaboration of more than 40 international organisations and agencies, including IUCN.

The results form part of the Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be released on May 10 in Nairobi, when government representatives from around the world meet to discuss the 2010 target and how to address the biodiversity crisis.

Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Head of IUCN’s Species Programme said: “We can no longer use the excuse that we don’t know enough about the loss of diversity of life on our planet. Last year the analysis of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ showed that biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate. This much broader study confirms those findings.

“The role of governments is paramount but the magnitude and rate of loss of biodiversity means that everyone, from individuals to businesses, must act now to save all life on earth before we reach breaking point.”

Explore further: Call for alternative identification methods for endangered species

More information: www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1187512

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The broken biodiversity promise

Apr 29, 2010

Back in 2002, world leaders gathered for the Convention on Biological Diversity and made a promise to slow the rate of biodiversity loss around the globe by 2010. However, a new analysis using the Convention's ...

Scientists call for biodiversity barometer

Apr 08, 2010

For the first time scientists have put a figure on how much it would cost to learn about the conservation status of millions of species, some of which have yet to be identified. The price tag is US$60 million, according to ...

Making protected areas pay biodiversity dividends

Mar 18, 2008

With human activity pushing more and more species to the brink of extinction--species abundance has declined by 40% between 1970 and 2000 alone--the need to protect biodiversity has never been more urgent. In a new essay ...

Global warming may bring mass species loss

Apr 11, 2006

A study by U.S. and Canadian scientists confirms earlier dire predictions of species loss, concluding global warming could spark mass species extinctions.

Recommended for you

India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures

17 hours ago

Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers ...