Countries Are Set to Miss all the Targets They Set Themselves To preserve Nature

Countries Have Missed All The Targets They Set Themselves To Preserve Nature

In 2010, 190 member states of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity committed to a battle plan to limit the damage inflicted on the natural world by 2020. The plan had 20 main objectives to save Earth’s vital biodiversity ranging from phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and limiting habitat loss to protecting fish stocks.

Now, all the countries are set to miss all of those targets they set themselves, the United Nations said. In the latest Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO), the United Nations said not even one of the mentioned goals would be met.

Last year the UN’s panel on biodiversity, called IPBES, warned that 1 million species face extinction as human-made activities have already severely degraded three-quarters of land on Earth.

“We are currently, in a systematic manner, exterminating all non-human living beings,” Anne Larigauderie, IPBES executive secretary, told AFP.

“The population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles have seen an alarming average drop of 68% since 1970.” according to a report by WWF

Decrease in wildlife population sizes
Source: (WWF)

Coming to a few positive things, some progress had been made toward protecting nature in the last decade, according to the Global Biodiversity Outlook

A noticeable positive change is that the rate of deforestation has dropped by around a third compared with the previous decade. Also, the 20-year period since 2000 has seen protected areas increase from 10% of land to 15%, and from 3% of oceans to at least 7% currently.

But still, this is not enough to counter the ongoing destruction of biodiversity. There are still a lot of dangers against which taking action is inevitable now.

Among the dangers to nature detailed in the report was the continued prevalence of fossil fuel subsidies, which the authors estimated at about $500 billion annually.

David Cooper, the lead author of the GBO assessment, said there were segments of society with “vested interests” preventing governments from reducing support to polluting industry.

“(Subsidies) are harmful to biodiversity and in most cases in the aggregate harmful economically and socially,” he told AFP.

Reacting to the U.N.’s assessment, Andy Purvis from the Department of Life Sciences at Britain’s Natural History Museum, said it was “shocking” that the world was set to miss all 20 of its own nature protection targets.

“We have to recognize that we’re in a planetary emergency,” he said.

“It’s not just that species will die out, but also that ecosystems will be too damaged to meet society’s needs.”

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