Less talk, more conservation, says IUCN

30 May 2008 | News story

Bonn, Germany – The time to take action to stem the destruction of the natural world is now, according to the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). But the strong words coming out of the Bonn meeting fall short on the action the world is demanding, says IUCN.

“We had wanted to see a clear roadmap towards COP10 and beyond for saving nature,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director-General of IUCN. “Following the CBD we may have an even better idea of what we have to do to keep nature alive but we still don’t have the means to save the day.”

Nearly 7,000 participants from 191 countries took part in the CBD, in what was its largest gathering to date. The Bonn meeting took place two years before the 2010 deadline, agreed by governments in The Hague in 2002, to slow the rate of biodiversity loss.

One success of this meeting has been the negotiations on high seas issues. The conference sent a direct message to the UN and the world in general that countries are ready to protect the open oceans. For that, they adopted scientific criteria and guidance to develop networks of Marine Protected Areas, which are one of the most effective tools for conserving marine biodiversity and vital for preserving life in our oceans.

The Bonn meeting also reaffirmed the value of IUCN's protected area management categories as a global standard.

“The CBD meeting has reinforced the urgent need for more protected areas; now we must take into account concerns of indigenous peoples and local communities,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre. “What I’ve seen in Bonn is the global conservation community coming together with governments for the sake of the planet – this is a new global movement.”

IUCN welcomes Germany’s announcement that it pledges an initial €500 million for forest protection. “Countries must be ready to follow Germany’s example and put up the cash vital to save areas under threat,” adds Marton-Lefèvre. “We cannot afford to sit idly by and do nothing, we must act now.”

Media team: Brian Thomson, IUCN Global Communications, m +417972182326, brian.thomson@iucn.org

Wiebke Herding, IUCN Global Communications, t +49 177240 9042 e wiebke.herding@iucn.org