Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Losing Biodiversity

Masoala National Park, Madagascar. Photo credit: Monique Rodriguez (from here).

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the CBD, released its Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 report yesterday (downloadable in full here). The news is not good, the GBO essentially saying that countries have largely ignored the accelerating loss of biodiversity. Here's an idea:

"The abundance of vertebrate species, based on assessed populations, fell by nearly a third on average between 1970 and 2006 and continues to fall globally," says the report, issued ahead of a top-level meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development this week in New York. [editor: Figures from a WWF report available here].

"The five principal pressures directly driving biodiversity loss (habitat change, overexploitation, pollution, invasive alien species and climate change) are either constant or increasing in intensity."

The report does see progress in the creation of preserves, in particular in the number of protected marine areas announced in recent months, but the overall assessment of the treaty by its Montreal-based secretariat paints a grim picture, saying habitat losses have offset gains. Wetlands, salt marshes and habitats for shellfish seem to be suffering the most damage.

More on this later.


Nyi Nyi said...

sigh... this is still happening to Less Developed Countries (LDC) and developing countries so that those nationals could follow the Wealth. this is a kind of challenge for humankind after all. thanks for the news though!!

helmut said...

At least in terms of deforestation, part of the reason LDCs and developing countries are seeing the most rapid losses is because the developed nations have already seen much of theirs. This also just happens to be the main consumer base for forest products.