Press release | 18 Oct, 2023

IUCN’s Global Species Action Plan to guide global efforts to halt biodiversity loss

Nairobi, Kenya (IUCN) – The Global Species Action Plan, launched at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 25th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, sets out a transformative path for countries to implement actions to mitigate species decline. 

Our ability to curb biodiversity loss hinges on our collective resolve to act for species. The Global Species Action Plan provides the first comprehensive roadmap by which all of society can take the critical actions needed to protect our planet’s species and revive what we have lost,” said Dr Grethel Aguilar, IUCN Acting Director General.

The Global Species Action Plan will guide countries as they plan their actions to achieve the Global Biodiversity Framework, agreed at the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal last year. Countries are required to submit their national biodiversity strategies and action plans, showing how they plan to help meet the Framework goals, before the next UN Biodiversity Conference (COP16) in 2024. The Plan provides guidance on the actions that governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, Indigenous people and local communities can take to contribute towards achieving the targets, alongside the tools and resources available to support efforts.

The Global Species Action Plan is a guide to the actions needed to conserve animals, fungi and plants, for example through including species data in spatial planning, and allowing animals to migrate through wildlife corridors. The Plan also highlights the importance of sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry, as well as the need to minimise the impact of climate change through mitigation and adaptation. It also covers ways to reduce harmful subsidies, the impact of production and the supply chain, pollution and food waste.

Species conservation works, but we need to significantly scale up action to address the dual crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change. We urge the global community to substantially increase funding allocations for species recovery as a matter of priority. The Global Species Action Plan will be a key tool for Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to use for species conservation, with IUCN’s support,” said Dao Nguyen, Senior Programme Manager for Species Conservation Action at IUCN. 

With 28% of all species assessed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ at risk of extinction, urgent action to protect and restore species’ populations will be fundamental to halt biodiversity loss in line with the Global Biodiversity Framework. Recognising this, IUCN developed the Global Species Action Plan with IUCN Members, Commissions and partners, in particular the Species Survival Commission, in response to the 2019 Abu Dhabi Call for Global Species Conservation Action.

The IUCN Species Survival Commission is mobilising its massive network of experts and partners to scale up species conservation actions in support of GSAP, through working with governments and other stakeholders at the national level,” said Prof Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

In August of this year, IUCN welcomed the establishment of the Global Environment Facility’s new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, which was announced last month with a commitment from all GEF member countries to enhance funding and programming for conservation.

In 2024, the Global Species Action Plan will be accompanied by an open access online knowledge platform, providing tools and resources to support all stakeholders to undertake conservation action.