The United Nations Environment Programme released a report today that says the goal of world governments back in 2002, “to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss” has been a total failure. Instead the Convention on Biological Diversity finds that species which have been assessed for extinction risk are on average moving closer to extinction; the abundance of vertebrate species fell by nearly a third on average between 1970 & 2006; and that natural habitats in most parts of the world continue to decline in extent and integrity. It’s not all doom as gloom, as the UN found that certain steps taken by governments, such as the effort to reduce the rate of deforestation, have proven beneficial to certain ecosystems, but there still lacks a broad commitment to sound environmental policy. Can the UN or other activists do enough to pressure governments to take the necessary steps to save biodiversity?
David Ainsworth, programme officer for the United Nations Environment Programme Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity