UN biodiversity framework outlines a plan to avoid mass extinction

The U.N published a draft plan yesterday (January 13) outlining plans to prevent what scientists have called the sixth mass extinction. 

The UN has revealed that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, and the rate of species extinction accelerating.

It is estimated that over 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, this is more than ever before in human history and is what many scientists are calling the sixth mass extinction.

The UN has published a draft of their post-2020 global biodiversity plan which outlines a strategic plan for biodiversity and sets out plans to implement action.

The framework is built around a theory of change, which recognises that urgent policy action is required globally to transform the current economic, social and financial models to ensure that biodiversity loss will stabilise in the next 10 years and will allow for the recovery of natural ecosystems in the following 20 years.

The theory of change has five long term goals for 2050.

  1. No net loss by 2030 in areas of freshwater and marine ecosystems
  2. Reduce the percentage of species threated with extinction
  3. Maintain genetic diversity
  4. Ensure that nature provides benefits to people, including improvements in nutrition and access to safe water
  5. At least 30% of efforts to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreements in 2030 and 2050.

Plans also include reducing pollution from excess nutrients, pesticides and plastic waste and also ensuring that nature contributes to climate change mitigation.

This framework will be taken up at the United Nations Biodiversity summer in China later this year.

In October last year (2019), Environment Journal wrote an article on a report published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The authors of the report used BioTime, the largest database of local biodiversity time-series data currently available. They found that changes to biodiversity are most prevalent across oceans, particularly in the tropical marine regions, which are hotspots for species richness loss.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Pippa Neill

Pippa Neill

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