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More effort needed to save nature say scientists

Last modified: 03 October 2014

Lowland agile gibbon

Tropical deforestation is a signficant threat to many primates such as the agile gibbon

Image: Anup Shah

A new mid-term report published in the journal Science today reveals that governments around the world need to redouble their efforts in order to meet international agreed biodiversity targets by 2020.

Recognising the importance of biodiversity in sustaining human life, in 2010, 193 nations agreed on a set of 20 biodiversity-related goals, known as Aichi Biodiversity Targets. At this half-way point a team of 51 experts from 30 institutions have assessed the progress and have concluded that it is unlikely that most of the Aichi targets will be reached by 2020. 

The lack of progress to reach targets to protect the natural world is a troubling sign for us all

Crises facing humanity

Dr Richard Gregory, Head of Species Monitoring and Research at the RSPB and one of the authors of the paper, said: “World leaders are currently grappling with many crises affecting our future. But this study shows there is a collective failure to address the loss of biodiversity, which is arguably one of the greatest crises facing humanity. The natural environment provides us with food, clean water and other natural resources we need for survival, and much more besides to feed our souls and inspire us.

“The lack of progress to reach targets to protect the natural world is a troubling sign for us all. But there are lots of great examples of how to bring nature back. The task now is to join those efforts up and make a bigger difference.”

Experts used a broad range of data on biodiversity and human indicators in order to predict whether the biodiversity targets would be achieved.

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