U.N. report says global efforts failed to meet biodiversity goals in 2010s

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Sept. 16 (UPI) — Global efforts failed to reach any of the 20 environmental goals set a decade ago at the Aichi conference in Japan, according to a new United Nations report.

The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, released Tuesday ahead of an environmental summit this month, found that diversity in natural habitats worldwide continued to be lost due to human influence.

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There has been progress on some of the targets outlined by the Aichi conference, the report said, but the 2010s were the second straight decade that efforts failed to meet any of the established goals.

“We know what needs to be done, what works and how we can achieve good results,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said in a statement. “If we build on what has already been achieved, and place biodiversity at the heart of all our policies and decisions — including in COVID-19 recovery packages — we can ensure a better future for our societies and the planet.”

“Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, population growth and technological developments” continues to threaten biodiversity and impact land and sea use change, climate change, pollution and accelerate invasive alien species, the report added.

“The projected decline in biodiversity will affect all people, but it will have a particularly detrimental effect on indigenous peoples and local communities and the world’s poor and vulnerable, given their reliance on biodiversity for their well-being.”

GBO5 called for governments and organizations to scale up conservation biodiversity efforts at all levels, work to decrease temperatures to pre-industrial levels, decrease pollution, adopt better agricultural methods and limit consumption of goods and services that hinder biodiversity — like forestry and the energy industry.

The 20 targets set by the Aichi conference in 2010 were broken down into 60 separate elements to monitor progress. The report said seven of the sub-elements were reached and 38 have shown progress.

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