Governments fail to halt loss of biodiversity

World governments have failed to stem the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Instead, pressures on biodiversity are increasing

The 2010 target was agreed eight years ago by the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 193 parties. It was widely anticipated that the target would be missed. Confirmation came on 10 May at a meeting of the convention’s scientific body with the publication of the third Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO3). The report is based on over 500 published assessments and 120 national submissions.

As well as the headline failure to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss, not one of 21 subsidiary targets have been met globally. Two thirds of biodiversity indicator trends developed by the convention are moving in the wrong direction.

The shocking findings in the report include:

  • The population of all wild vertebrates on the planet has shrunk by a third since 1970 and numbers continue to decline
  • In Europe, farmland bird populations have halved in the last 30 years
  • 36% of assessed species are at risk of extinction, including 70% of assessed plants

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