“Any progress in the fight against biodiversity loss is positive, but slow and steady will not win the race against mass extinction. We must be doing more."
With the conclusion of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, Canada, the global community has now laid out the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF): a set of targets for combatting the biodiversity crisis that countries will aim to meet by the end of this decade. None of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for 2020 were achieved, making the latest set of targets even more critical for getting the global community back on track.
The meeting succeeded in defining more than 20 targets, including some that commit countries to urgent management action to halt human-induced extinctions and to mobilizing funds to implement such action. One of the greatest successes, was the inclusion of a target to conserve 30% of lands and waters by 2030, especially those “of particular importance for biodiversity.”
While the United States is not a party to the Convention, President Biden committed to a national 30% target through an Executive Order in January 2021.
“This conference was a big moment for global conservation, but the story doesn’t end here,” said Dr. Lindsay Rosa, director of the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife. “Although the United States is not a party to the Convention, President Biden can still take bold leadership at home and abroad by establishing a national biodiversity strategy. The 30% target for conserving lands and waters is only one piece of the puzzle – tackling the biodiversity crisis must be a stated priority at all levels of society and actions need to address all leading drivers of species loss.”
The GBF contains additional targets aimed at addressing the five leading drivers of the biodiversity crisis— habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, climate change and overexploitation-in addition to nature equity and pandemic prevention. With the framework now agreed upon, successful implementation from the global community will be required in order to avoid the failure of the Aichi targets.
“Any progress in the fight against biodiversity loss is positive, but slow and steady will not win the race against mass extinction. We must be doing more,” Alejandra Goyenechea, senior international counsel at Defenders of Wildlife.