The Scientific Alliance proposes specific conditions for a post-2020 global biodiversity framework

The Elephant Training Center at the Padang Sugihan Wildlife Sanctuary in Indonesia is home to 31 elephants. Photo by Rifky/CIFOR

The Group of 50, part of BioDiscovery, the Global Research Network on Future Earth and the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEOBON), published their recommendations in the June 2022 issue. A land Magazine.

Human impact on Earth’s biosphere is causing a global biodiversity crisis, the authors say. Three-quarters of Earth’s ecosystems have been drastically altered, a quarter of estimated plant and animal species are at risk of extinction, and genetic diversity in wild and domesticated species is declining.

It is a biodiversity crisis that is causing a significant decline in nature’s contribution to people.

Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity are negotiating a set of actions to halt biodiversity loss and put the planet on a path to recovery by 2050.

A team of scientists, including CIFOR-ICRAF scientists Manuel Guariguata and Jianchu Xu, argued in the framework that the proposed actions could indeed bend the curve for biodiversity, but only if these actions are implemented urgently and in a coordinated manner.

“It is important to treat the framework’s targets, achievements and goals as an indivisible whole rather than focusing on individual elements,” Guariguata said.

The proposed actions are set out in the first draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The final version is planned to be adopted in two stages at the Fifteenth Conference of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China and Montreal, Canada. The draft framework is divided into three groups of 21 action targets for 2030: 1) Reducing risks by addressing the direct drivers of biodiversity loss. 2) sustainable use and benefit sharing to meet people’s needs; and 3) tools and implementation methods, mostly working on indirect loss drivers.

A system approach is important

A strategic approach to all targets is essential, write the team. Their research synthesis examined targets 1-10 of the direct drivers of biodiversity loss. Their analysis states that no single target that works on direct drivers contributes more than 10-15%. There is no one-to-one link from any action target to a milestone or goal.

In other words, to be effective, the framework must be implemented in an integrated manner and targets, milestones and goals must all be seen as inseparable.

A change to bend the curve

The group considered three scenarios directly related to the framework for 2030 and 2050. In order to achieve the targets, expansion of protected areas, creation of species management plans and restoration of ecosystems, and halting the conversion of natural ecosystems are expected to reduce, but not stop, future biodiversity loss.

Further reductions in losses have been hampered in part by insufficient progress to restore the biodiversity, ecosystem functions and connectivity between agricultural lands, which cover 40% of the planet’s land area.

The scientists and their colleagues state that the targets may still only be partially achieved because current trends are that protected areas are not adequately resourced, the establishment of ecologically important protected areas is slow, and restoration using good ecological practices is not happening fast enough. Widely as needed.

Take action now and continue to take action

There is a significant time lag between driver impacts and biodiversity change. Delays often occur over decades, so when drivers slow down, delays decrease.

International cooperation and multi-dimensional approach

An improved dialogue between national agendas and international priorities is necessary, supported by mechanisms of accountability and transparency, including more formal evaluation and improved cooperation.

Monitoring framework and evaluation methods to achieve results

Indicators for assessing trends in the drivers of biodiversity loss are not currently included in the framework, but are necessary to demonstrate that actions can lead to recovery.

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