Rhema Bjorkland* and Ronald Bjorkland
Edited by Paige Omura and Grant A. Knappe
Article | Aug. 30, 2021
- Human activities are directly and indirectly driving an unprecedented decline in the variety of life (biodiversity) on earth. This loss threatens nature’s ability to provide the services that are integral to human well-being and social development
- Despite the passage of a global agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the world community has failed to meet targets set for 2020
- Reversing these trends will require national governments to embed socio-economic planning and land use management within national strategies and commitments to biodiversity
Figure 1: Examples of nature’s contribution to people. Biodiversity loss threatens the integrity of ecosystems and their ability to provide the services and gifts that humans rely on.
Tackling biodiversity loss – current global strategies and targets
Table I: The five strategic goals (A-E) and 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan adopted by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity for Biodiversity in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. Completion date of all targets was 2020 except targets 10, 16, and 17 which was 2015. Primary theme of each target is in bold lettering. Status of progress toward achievement of elements of each target is noted (P = Poor; M = Moderate; G = Good; U = Unknown) based on assessment made by Diaz et al. 2019. The presence of more than one status score in some of the targets represents the assessment of multiple elements in each of the targets. Diaz et al based their assessments on “quantitative analysis of indicators, a systematic review of the literature, fifth National Reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and available information on countries’ stated intentions to implement additional actions by 2020.”
Table II: Main causes cited for failure to meet CBD targets
Going forward – The 2050 vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature”
Mainstreaming biodiversity for transformative change
Ending the disconnect between global targets, national commitments, and local action: National commitments to the CBD targets are met through preparation and submission of National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans (NBSAPs). These international commitments require integration into domestic policies, agendas, and targets. Governments should include and elevate the NBSAPs goals within national land use, environmental management, and socio-economic development plans. Linking community-centered conservation to robust NBSAPs is a crucial pathway for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. This linkage may incorporate
expanded roles and utilization of the capabilities of sub-national governments, cities, local authorities, and community organizations to implement policy decisions and action plans .
Revolutionizing funding: Environmental concerns, particularly biodiversity loss and climate change, were among the top short- and long-term risks identified by the two most recent World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report . Stressing the need for bold and immediate action to
address these environmental challenges, the 2020 Report noted “Opting to ride out the current period in the hope that the global system will ‘snap back’ runs the risk of missing crucial windows to address pressing challenges. On key issues such as the economy, the environment, technology and public health, stakeholders must find ways to act quickly and with purpose within an unsettled global landscape.” These observations and those made in numerous other analyses clearly demonstrate that based solely on financial metrics, the benefits derived from investments to protect biodiversity significantly exceed costs [37, 47]. However, the effects of inadequate financial, technological, and institutional support for biodiversity protection will continue to mount and increasingly impact global scale processes such as climate change and threaten the stability and well-being of interconnected institutions that support the human community, such as food security, health services, business endeavors, Indigenous community livelihood, and cultural development
Communication: Addressing the difficult questions and revamping the messaging techniques: The CBD provides that the post-2020 framework should be accompanied by an inspirational and motivating 2030 Mission goal as a steppingstone towards attaining the overall goals of the 2050
vision “Living in Harmony with Nature”. The effort to bend the curve on biodiversity loss of biodiversity and put nature on a path to recovery envisions at least 30% of land and sea areas conserved by 2030. This transformative change in the stewardship will require a significant shift in governance and policy making and how the decisions and actions are communicated to the general community. These efforts will entail difficult conversations about and follow-on actions on
issues of human population size, lifestyle, a reduced but more equitable standards of living, and value systems .
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