World fails to hit any 2020 biodiversity targets

The world has failed to meet any of the Aichi biodiversity targets for 2020 agreed 10 years ago, a UN report has revealed. 

Just six of the 20 goals have been partially achieved, and the health of the natural world has actually declined in many respects.

Some encouraging signs include falling deforestation rates and the increasing removal of invasive alien species from islands, while awareness of biodiversity appears to be rising. However, much of the success has been patchy. The aspects of Target 11 regarding the proportions of lands and seas protected was met, but elements related to the quality of protected areas were not. Similarly, for Target 19, biodiversity knowledge has improved but not been widely shared or applied.

“Humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy we wish to leave to future generations,” said UN biodiversity lead Elizabeth Maruma Mrema. “As nature degrades, new opportunities emerge for the spread to humans and animals of devastating diseases like this year’s coronavirus. The window of time available is short, but the pandemic has also demonstrated that transformative changes are possible.”

The report outlines the eight major transitions needed to slow down and halt nature’s decline, spanning land and forests, sustainable agriculture, food systems, fisheries and oceans, cities and infrastructure, freshwater, climate action and health.

Read the full report at cbd.int/gbo5

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