The report warns, “Humanity stands at a crossroads in relation to a legacy left to future generations.” “Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, and the pressures that suppress this decline are intensifying.”
Of the 20 goals, only six have been “partially achieved.” On average, participating countries reported that more than one-third of national targets were to be met; Half of the national goals were seeing slow progress; 11% of targets show no significant progress, and 1% are actually headed in the wrong direction.
“Earth’s living systems as a whole are being compromised. The more humanity exploits nature in unstable ways and reduces its contribution to the people, the more we reduce our well-being, security and prosperity We do.”
What did the world achieve
First, good news: The last decade has seen some limited progress.
Six partially met targets are: preventing invasive species, conserving protected areas, benefiting from and sharing genetic resources, biodiversity strategies and action plans, sharing information and mobilizing resources.
We have greatly expanded the number of protected natural areas both on land and at sea. And we have introduced more conservation measures such as a ban on hunting, which has paid off.
The report states that without such action, birds and mammals would be two to four times more likely to become extinct in the past decade.
What we failed to do
The list of achievements is encouraging, and shows that it is possible for governments to take integrated action with tangible results, but, the report warns, this is nowhere near enough.
According to the report, 20 targets can be broken into 60 “elements”, of which 13 have either received no progress or are worse.
Habitat loss and degradation are particularly high in forests and tropical regions. The report states that global wetlands are decreasing and rivers are crumbling.
These reduction efforts are reflected in our funding. Governments globally spend about $ 78–91 billion per year on biodiversity efforts, the report estimated – the way billions of dollars are needed.
Even in areas where progress has been made, the situation is not really improving – just slowing down, and perhaps with less severity if no action was taken. For example, although some countries have managed more sustainable marine fish stocks, one third of the marine stock globally still runs out – a higher proportion than 10 years ago.
What do we need to do
Immediate action is more urgent than ever; The report stated that the destruction of the Earth’s biodiversity would affect all of us and would be particularly “harmful to indigenous people and local communities and the poor and vulnerable of the world.”
It added that despite our failure to meet any of Aichi’s goals, “it is not too late to slow down, curb, and ultimately curtail current trends in biodiversity decline.” A number of actions required under international treaties such as the Paris Climate Change Agreement (which the United States is currently withdrawing) have already been identified and agreed upon.
The report outlines eight areas where we need to transition to sustainability: land and forests, agriculture, food systems, fisheries and oceans, cities and infrastructure, freshwater, climate action and an integrated “forest health” “Global Framework.
More specific steps have been taken within each region – for example, cities need to create more green spaces, consider the impact on biodiversity while building new roads or infrastructure, and promote local food production .
Finding these solutions is “challenging”, but important, and we’ve seen what happens when we fail. For example, the Kovid-19 epidemic illustrated the “link between our treatment of the living world and the emergence of human diseases”, the report said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Taking steps to protect and restore biodiversity – the living fabric of our planet and the foundation of human life and prosperity – is an essential part of this collective effort,” he said.