‘None of 20 biodiversity goals set in 10 fully met’

Wildfires in the Amazon in 2019 It’s believed many of the fires in the rainforest habitat are deliberately set by farmers and loggers

The targets's architects hoped to see a world, by 2020, in which "pressures on biodiversity are reduced, ecosystems are restored" and "biological resources are sustainably used", among other goals. Experts believe that such crisis may push the world towards more disasters like Covid-19 pandemic, a zoonotic disease transmitted between animals and humans, massive wildfires and water crisis if the countries don't accept the growing scientific consensus over an ambitious new target of protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030 - popularly known as 30x30 target - under the UN Convention.

One, for instance, aimed to prevent the extinction of threatened species and improve their status by 2020. As the GBO report comes at a time when the Covid-19 challenges people to rethink their relationship with nature, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said, "As we emerge from the immediate impacts of the pandemic, we have an unprecedented opportunity to "build back better", incorporating the transitions outlined in this Outlook and embodied in an ambitious plan to put the world on track to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity".

The report emphasises that humanity now stands at "a crossroads" in regards to the legacy it wishes to leave to future generations, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity Elizabeth Maruma Mrema. "Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, and the pressures driving this decline are intensifying".

As per the report, the recent rate of deforestation is lower than that of the previous decade, but only by about one-third, but deforestation may be accelerating again in some areas. A number of places have successfully eradicated invasive species. Habitat loss and degradation are still very high, especially in forests and tropical regions. Included in the report were findings from a study last week concluding conservation efforts had saved 28 to 48 birds and mammals from extinction since 1993. The Aichi biodiversity targets are based on a range of indicators, research studies, and assessments, as well as national reports. "Plastic pollution is accumulating in the oceans, with severe impacts on marine ecosystems", the report states.

The authors of the U.N Outlook say there has been some progress, and that the report is not created to promote despair but rather to highiight urgency to tackle climate change which affects biodiversity, preservation and restoration of habitat, and more sustainable practices in food production and fishing. Aichi Targets are to biodiversity, what Paris Convention is to climate change. While these areas have seen some progress, it's clear that not almost enough has been achieved in the 10-year period to indicate a change in the tide on diversity depression. Many countries have also taken new steps to reduce deforestation, and awareness of the importance of biodiversity is on the rise. "And the more humanity exploits nature in unsustainable ways and undermines its contributions to people, the more we undermine our own wellbeing, security and prosperity", she adds. This figure dwarves financing for actions to safeguard biodiversity, which the report estimates at $78-$91bn per year, far below the hundreds of billions of dollars needed.



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