Countdown 2010

06 October 2009 | Project completed

Governments worldwide have promised to save biodiversity by 2010. While it is their responsibility to achieve this, they need the help of all stakeholders in this challenge. Countdown 2010 has united a network of almost 1,000 partners from all walks of life – including national, regional and local governments, businesses and civil society – working together towards the 2010 biodiversity target.

Biodiversity is essential for all life on Earth and its conservation is the core of IUCN work. A source of knowledge, standards and tools on this matter, IUCN offers the right frame for the Countdown 2010 initiative. The Secretariat is hosted by the IUCN Regional Office for Pan-Europe in Brussels, Belgium.

Each partner signs the Countdown 2010 Declaration and commits to taking direct action to help reduce the loss of biodiversity within their remit – be in their neighbourhood, city or at the national and corporate level. For instance, zoos might focus on environmental education, companies on how to reduce their impact on biodiversity, and non-governmental organisations could campaign for better implementation of nature legislation worldwide. Every single action by partners is important to contribute to moving closer in achieving the 2010 biodiversity target.

The Countdown 2010 Secretariat facilitates and encourages action by Partners and supports their communications efforts. An Assembly of all Partners meets annually to assess progress and strengthen cooperation within the network. Countdown 2010 is guided by an Advisory Board composed by representatives of institutions and non-governmental organizations that is elected by its partners.

Activities:

  • Raising awareness of the need to protect biodiversity
  • Organizing events and conferences at international, national and local level, such as at the European Parliament and with EU Presidencies on crucial issues related to biodiversity conservation
  • Encouraging and supporting businesses in mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into their operations
  • Helping local and regional authorities protect urban biodiversity and including biodiversity in their planning
  • Measuring progress made by governments towards 2010
  • Celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) by supporting Partners’ initiatives
  • Communicating biodiversity and Partners’ achievements: bimonthly newsletter, website, exhibitions, communications tools, etc.

Since its creation, the Countdown 2010 network has grown exponentially and has made it possible for hundreds of actors to join together under the banner of biodiversity conservation. Their actions have helped increase biodiversity awareness and improve its protection.

“Being part of the Countdown 2010 network has helped increase the profile of my organization. It also gave me the opportunity to share experiences and practices with other Partners at different levels and was an excellent incentive to increase our efforts for biodiversity” Ignace Shops, Director of Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland and Goldman Environmental Prize.

Partners:

  • 70+ Governments and Government agencies
  • 350+ Local and Regional Authorities
  • 80+ Businesses
  • 400+ Civil Society Organizations
  • Full list of partners

Timeline: May 2004 – December 2010

Contact at IUCN: Sebastian Winkler