15 Oct 2014

Wildlife populations have declined by 52% since 1970.1000s of representatives of govts, NGOs, indigenous peoples, scientists & private sector at Pyeongchang conference working to speed up a global 'Strategic Plan for Biodiversity'

 Global wildlife populations have declined, on average, by 52 percent in the 40 year period since 1970, reports the global conservation nonprofit WWF. Habitat loss and degradation are the greatest threats to biodiversity, with exploitation of wildlife and climate change close behind.
Released ahead of the ongoing 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP12) now taking place in Pyeongchang, the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2014 is based on the Living Planet Index, which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. 
Freshwater species have suffered losses almost double that of land and marine species. Most of these biodiversity declines are happening in tropical regions, with Latin America enduring the most dramatic drop in species.
“In less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half. These are the living forms that constitute the fabric of the ecosystems which sustain life on Earth – and the barometer of what we are doing to our own planet, our only home. We ignore their decline at our peril,” warned WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini.
Thousands of representatives of governments, NGOs, indigenous peoples, scientists and the private sector in Pyeongchang took note of the WWF report and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s own new 157-page assessment report, “Global Biodiversity Outlook 4.”
“The Living Planet Report and the Global Biodiversity Outlook highlight the dramatic changes we have seen in wildlife, both on land and in water. As societies rapidly develop, it is critical to integrate biodiversity goals into national efforts to address poverty eradication, food security, water, health, and energy,” said WWF Director of Global Policy Susan Brown.
“Governments must supercharge efforts to fulfill their promise to strengthen protections for nature by 2020,” said Brown. “CBD, its parties and all stakeholders cannot afford to fail. This meeting must break down barriers to generate the willpower and resources to protect what little remains of our natural world.”
In Pyeongchang, starting on October 6 and continuing through Friday, governments are working towards accelerating implementation of a global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets
The collection of decisions to be taken at COP 12 is already being referred to as the “Pyeongchang Road Map.” It is expected to include a strategy to increase the financial and human resources available for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
COP12 witnessed the historic entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources on Sunday, following its ratification by 50 national governments, plus the European Union.
This supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD – the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
Utilization includes research and development on the genetic or biochemical composition of genetic resources, as well as subsequent applications and commercialization.
The Nagoya Protocol addresses traditional knowledge of genetic resources with provisions on access, benefit-sharing and compliance, particularly where indigenous and local communities have the established right to grant access to them. 


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