CBD and UNEP Release Global Biodiversity Outlook 4
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On the opening day of the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12), the CBD Secretariat and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4).

The report serves as a mid-term assessment of implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as the UN Decade on Biodiversity.

unep-cbd6 October 2014: On the opening day of the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12), the CBD Secretariat and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4). The report serves as a mid-term assessment of implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as the UN Decade on Biodiversity.

The report highlights good progress towards achieving targets on protected areas, access and benefit sharing, and national biodiversity strategy and action plans (NBSAPs). However, GBO-4 concludes that significant additional effort is required to meet the objectives of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and to achieve many of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The report notes, for instance, that while efforts to reduce deforestation have slowed the rate of forest loss in some areas, the overall trend indicates a further decline in natural areas by 2020 if additional action is not taken. The GBO-4 also lists the protection of coral reefs, conservation of species facing high risks of extinction, reduction of pollution, and the restoration of degraded ecosystems as other areas requiring greater national attention. Meeting related targets will, according to the report, require close collaboration with the agriculture sector, which it points out is the most significant driver of projected biodiversity loss.

Speaking on the report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged “Member States and stakeholders everywhere to take GBO4’s conclusions into account in their planning, recognize that biodiversity contributes to solving the sustainable development challenges we face, and redouble efforts to achieve our shared goals.”

At the opening of the CBD COP 12, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Studies show that it will be difficult to reach the full set of the Aichi targets if we remain within the current trajectory, due to accumulated and increased pressures on the natural world.”

GBO-4 concludes that, moving forward, it will be important to coordinate actions to address the Aichi Targets, which it says cannot be met in isolation. The report highlights that meeting the Targets will also contribute to broader development, food security, health and sustainability goals and suggests that biodiversity be mainstreamed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [CBD Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [UN Press Release] [IISD RS coverage of CBD COP 12] [Publication: Global Biodiversity Outlook 4] [UNEP Publications website]


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