When world leaders meet in Bonn in May for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), slowing down the rate of species loss will be top of the agenda.
Sebastian Winkler, Head of IUCN’s Countdown 2010 Programme to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, said the Bonn meeting is the last chance to make meaningful progress towards achieving the target.
“We need to act now to stop the destruction of life on this planet,” he says. “Governments must put money where there mouths are, putting in place the hard and fast conservation the world is demanding.”
The ninth Conference of Parties of CBD, held from May 19-30, will include a high-level ministerial segment during the second week. Several other high-level events are planned for the second week including the Mayors Conference “Local Action for Biodiversity” (26-28 May) and the Global Island Partnership event (27 May).
The role women play in biodiversity must be recognized in Bonn, according to Lorena Aguilar Revelo, Head of IUCN’s Gender Programme. “Women are powerful agents of change, playing a key role in energy consumption, deforestation and economic growth,” she says. “Ministers in Bonn must listen to the experience of women when deciding on the future of our planet.”
IUCN is also calling for governments to take into account the economic cost of losing biodiversity. “As the world wakes up to the accelerating loss of biological diversity, businesses are increasingly viewing biodiversity conservation as a potential profit centre,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN. “Governments must look to policy reforms to increase the commercial rewards for conserving biodiversity.”