Global Biodiversity Outlook: NOT GOOD
UN Report: Eco-systems at “Tipping Point” article by Matthew Knight at CNN.com.
The Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 was published on May 10th and sparked this news. Global Biodiversity Outlook is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Drawing on a range of information sources, including National Reports, biodiversity indicators information, scientific literature, and a study assessing biodiversity scenarios for the future [4MB], the third edition of Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) summarizes the latest data on status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions for the future strategy of the Convention.
Here is the Foreword by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon:
In 2002, the world’s leaders agreed to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Having reviewed all available evidence, includingnational reports submitted by Parties, this third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook concludes that the target has not been met. Moreover, the Outlook warns, the principal pressures leading to biodiversity loss are not just constant but are, in some cases, intensifying.
The consequences of this collective failure, if it is not quickly corrected, will be severe for us all. Biodiversity underpins the functioning of the ecosystems on which we depend for food and fresh water, health and recreation, and protection from natural disasters. Its loss also affects us culturally and spiritually. This may be more difficult to quantify, but is nonetheless integral to our well-being.
Current trends are bringing us closer to a number of potential tipping points that would catastrophically reduce the capacity of ecosystems to provide these essential services. The poor, who tend to be most immediately dependent on them, would suffer first and most severely. At stake are the principal objectives outlined in the Millennium Development Goals: food security, poverty eradication and a healthier population.
The conservation of biodiversity makes a critical contribution to moderating the scale of climate change and reducing its negative impacts by making ecosystems — and therefore human societies — more resilient. It is therefore essential that the challenges related to biodiversity and climate change are tackled in a coordinated manner and given equal priority.
In several important areas, national and international action to support biodiversity is moving in a positive direction. More land and sea areas are being protected, more countries are fighting the serious threat of invasive alien species, and more money is being set aside for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity.
However, these efforts are too often undermined by conflicting policies. To tackle the root causes of biodiversity loss, we must give it higher priority in all areas of decision-making and in all economic sectors. As this third Global Biodiversity Outlook makes clear, conserving biodiversity cannot be an afterthought once other objectives are addressed – it is the foundation on which many of these objectives are built. We need a new vision for biological diversity for a healthy planet and a sustainable future for humankind.
The report concluded with this:
The overall message of this Outlook is clear. We can no longer see the continued loss of biodiversity as an issue separate from the core concerns of society: to tackle poverty, to improve the health, prosperity and security of present and future generations, and to deal with climate change. Each of those objectives is undermined by current trends in the state of our ecosystems, and each will be greatly strengthened if we finally give biodiversity the priority it deserves. In 2008-9, the world’s governments rapidly mobilized hundreds of billions of dollars to prevent collapse of a financial system whose flimsy foundations took the markets by surprise. Now we have clear warnings of the potential breaking points towards which we are pushing the ecosystems that have shaped our civilizations. For a fraction of the money summoned up instantly to avoid economic meltdown, we can avoid a much more serious and fundamental breakdown in the Earth’s life support systems.
If you have time, please be sure to read the report! Click here.