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After a decade, the world has failed to achieve any of the 20 biodiversity targets set by the UN

A new UN report has found that the world has failed to meet any of its 2020 targets for biodiversity set in 2010.

In 2010, the United Nations set out to create global action in response to the pressures of the 21st century that threaten to destroy biodiversity around the world. A ten-year-plan containing a set of targets (the Aichi Biodiversity Targets) were agreed to by 196 countries.

Now, according to the latest Global Biodiversity Outlook report, ten years later we have not met a single one of the targets. Six of the targets have been partially met whilst we’ve completely failed the other 14.

meerkats biodiversity

“Humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy it leaves to future generations” the UN report describes, pleading for our global leaders to step up and make a change. It goes on to explain there are options available to “reverse biodiversity loss, limit climate change and improve the capacity to adapt to it and meet other goals such as improved food security.” These are options that the UN believe are fundamental to a sustainable future.

The 20 targets include communication around the value of biodiversity, government and corporate steps to improve and maintain biodiversity, sustainable fishing, sustainable agriculture, and the conservation of threatened wildlife species.

The UN has now turned their sights to 2050, hoping we can go above and beyond these targets in the next 30 years, stating “it is not too late to slow, halt and eventually reverse current trends in the decline of biodiversity.”

According to the report, this is only possible if global leaders continue to push towards the targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement, and implement 5 sets of actions:

  • Conservation and restoration
  • Climate change action
  • Reducing pressures on biodiversity
  • Sustainable production
  • Reduced consumption

So it’s not all doom and gloom if we come together to do our part and place pressure on our leaders to make a change. In the meantime, feel free to have a little sulk at the state of the world and listen to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s climate change anthem, Planet B.