World governments to build consensus on a new vision to combat biodiversity loss, alleviate poverty and fight climate change

K.L. Heong
Insect Ecologist
International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Philippines

In Nairobi governments met and agreed to a global strategy to stem the loss of our world’s rich biodiversity, alleviate poverty and fight climate change. The recent publication by the United Nations Environment program (UNEP),  the Third Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 (GBO-3) which was discussed here warned that biodiversity losses are in an increasing trend.  Most of the goals for MDG 7 on environmental sustainability will not be met, unless radical and creative actions are taken. Some essential ecosystem services will approach “tipping points”. The GBO-3 is a landmark study in the U.N.’s International Year of Biodiversity and the full report may be downloaded from The Convention of Biodiversity (CBD) secretariat released the Third Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 (GBO-3) recently warning that biodiversity losses are in an increasing trend. Unless radical and creative actions are taken, some essential ecosystem services will approach “tipping points”. The draft agreements on the strategic plan and on mobilizing financial resources that will be discussed by world leaders in New York in September, and later adopted by Governments at the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit in Japan in October.

The Chair of the meeting, Mr. Jochen Flasbarth of Germany, expressed:  “The success of our efforts to save biodiversity requires a clear strategy and sufficient financial resources. The results of this meeting will send strong signals to the Conference of the Parties (COP) that the global community is ready to provide both. The spirit of compromise and willingness to work demonstrates that all delegates recognize that we have only one nature and one world to support our future.”

The Nairobi meeting worked to develop a strategic plan with a suite of 20 SMART targets—goals that are strategic, measureable, ambitious yet realistic and time-bound. Targets will address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss in a way that will permit national implementation within a global framework. The targets also address important issues for saving biodiversity including a global network of protected areas on land and sea, the interaction between climate change and biodiversity, and the important role of communication, education and public awareness.