Wildlife & Biodiversity

World hasn’t met a single Aichi biodiversity target: Leaked UN Report

While there has been progress, it is insufficient, according to the document

By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Thursday 10 September 2020

None of the 20 ‘Aichi Biodiversity Targets’ agreed on by national governments through the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have been met, according to CBD’s Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report. The world was supposed to meet these targets by 2020.

The report was to be released on September 15, 2020. Down To Earth has been able to access the report.

“At the global level, none of the 20 targets have been fully achieved, though six targets have been partially achieved,” the report said.   

On average, countries reported that more than a third of all national targets were on track to be met (34 per cent) or exceeded (3 per cent), the CBD report said. For another half of the national targets (51 per cent), progress was being made but not at a rate that would allow targets to be met.

“Only 11 per cent of national targets show no significant progress and one per cent are moving in the wrong direction. However, national targets are generally poorly aligned with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, in terms of scope and the level of ambition,” the report said.

Whatever little progress has been made, has to do with the following:

  • Aichi Biodiversity Target 1 (Creating awareness about the value of biodiversity)
  • Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 (17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, to be effectively and equitably managed)
  • Aichi Biodiversity Target 16 (Access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation)
  • Aichi Biodiversity Target 17 (Creation, adoption and implementation of an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan)
  • Aichi Biodiversity Target 19 (Improvement and dissemination of knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity).

The Aichi Biodiversity targets were included in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the 2011-2020 period adopted by the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

These targets are about increasing awareness about the importance of biodiversity, incorporation of biodiversity values into local and national development and poverty reduction strategies, removal of incentives and subsidies which are harmful to biodiversity, sustainable production and consumption etc.

The targets were formed keeping in mind the underlying drivers for biodiversity loss and for setting benchmarks for improvements across drivers, pressures, the state of biodiversity, the benefits derived from it and the implementation of relevant policies and enabling conditions.

“Humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy it leaves to future generations. Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate and the pressures driving this decline are intensifying,” the CBD report warned.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of the relationship between people and nature and it reminds us all of the profound consequences to our own well-being and survival that can result from continued biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems,” it added.

CBD is one of the three conventions along with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD), to emerge out of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, in 1992.

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