Governments must take action and invest in nature to secure the diversity of life on earth and address today’s development challenges – urges IUCN at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP11), which starts today in Hyderabad, India.
Governments meeting in Hyderabad will discuss implementation of the decisions taken at the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit in 2010, including the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its 2020 Aichi Targets to save and restore nature.
“In Nagoya, we agreed the Big Plan with ambitious yet realistic targets to save our planet’s biodiversity,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General.
“We need to keep the momentum going. Biodiversity loss continues and has breached safe planetary boundaries. It’s time for a serious check-up on progress we’ve made to turn the Big Plan into Big Action.”
According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, out of the 63,837 species assessed, 19,817 are threatened with extinction, including 41% of amphibians, 33% of reef building corals, 25% of mammals, 13% of birds, and 30% of conifers.
“The bad news is that biodiversity loss is increasing and is expected to increase even further,” says Jane Smart, Global Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group. “The good news, however, is that we have a plan which can help us reverse this devastating trend.”
“Countries must now take effective action at the national level and see nature as an integral part of their development plans. This is no longer an issue reserved for Ministries of Environment. All government departments need to be involved in conserving our planet’s natural assets.”
The IUCN World Conservation Congress in Korea in September and the Rio+20 summit in June have shown that the benefits of saving nature go far beyond conserving our planet’s biological and cultural diversity.
The natural infrastructure of forests, rivers and oceans – with their natural riches and innate ability to help us adapt to climate change and minimise its impacts – offers viable solutions to today’s most pressing development challenges, including social and economic ones.
“We’re no longer talking about saving nature only for nature’s sake,” says Jane Smart.
“Investing in natural infrastructure is a cost-effective way to respond to long-term human needs, including poverty reduction, food security, access to water and energy as well as a stable economy and generation of employment. In the time of a global economic crisis, it’s an investment that will go a long way.”
“Nature provides the necessary ingredients for our development – be it economic, spiritual or emotional,” says Cyriaque N. Sendashonga, Global Director of IUCN’s Policy and Programme Group.
“By undermining nature, we are ultimately undermining ourselves and the very foundation on which our development and well-being depend.”
“Decision makers here in Hyderabad must recognize the urgent need to act and move from the negotiation phase to a phase where we can actually see changes on the ground.”