Story | 04 Dec, 2018

The road ahead: from knowledge to action for threatened species

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ and Toyota consider the importance of private sector partnerships for achieving international biodiversity targets.  

World leaders gathered in Egypt last week to discuss the future for global biodiversity, at the Convention on Biological Diversity conference. During this important summit, IUCN and Toyota Motor Corporation hosted a side event highlighting the importance of working with the private sector to achieve conservation success. The event was held in partnership with the Governments of Thailand and Egypt, BirdLife and Conservation International. 

“The IUCN-Toyota partnership is enabling important steps towards improving knowledge of species that are essential to sustain life on earth,” says Dr Jane Smart, Global Director IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group. “The partnership has already ensured the development of a new web-based platform for the IUCN Red List and the assessment of around 2,000 new species, including many wild relatives of modern food crops. Improved knowledge of species is the only way transformative action to meet global conservation and sustainable development goals will be possible. Partnerships with the private sector are highly important to facilitate this change.”

Progress towards meeting the Aichi Targets – internationally recognised targets for the conservation of biodiversity – has been slow and many of the targets will not be met by the 2020 deadline. The summit in Egypt presented an important opportunity for world leaders to consider how to tackle species decline to ensure sustainable development targets are not undermined. Working with the private sector to turn knowledge into action was an important theme for the event.

At the IUCN-Toyota side event, a car-key handover ceremony from Toyota to BirdLife International and Conservation International was held in recognition for the NGOs’ roles in undertaking the IUCN Red Lists assessments, field research work and conservation activities in Africa. In addition, Thailand’s first national business and biodiversity platform, the Thailand Bio-Diversity Network Alliance (B-DNA) platform was soft-launched. IUCN and Toyota Motor Thailand aims to strengthen the Private Sector’s role in nature conservation in Thailand to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Aichi Targets.  

“Toyota was established for contributing to society, it is in our DNA to provide good vehicles with cleaner production technology,” said Mr Takao Aiba, Project General Manager at Toyota Motor Corporation. “Our action is just the first step. We need to include more actions to improve our contribution to society and reliable scientific data, such as The IUCN Red List, is important for scaling up action.” 

The event in Egypt concluded on November 29th, with attendees making pledges and commitments in support of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.