PARIS (AFP) – Amid fresh warnings about the depletion of Earth’s treasure trove of species, governments will gather in South Korea next week to try to muster the funds and political will to protect what remains.
Just a week after conservation group WWF said wildlife numbers had halved in 40 years, nations will analyse progress since they agreed four years ago on 20 targets for stemming the tide of biodiversity loss.
Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) will meet for 11 days from Monday in Pyeongchang to thrash out a roadmap for achieving the “Aichi Targets” – which include halving habitat loss, reducing pollution and overfishing, and putting a brake on species extinction by 2020.
And once again nations will embark on the difficult task of trying to determine how much money is required and where it will come from.
“This meeting is the halfway stock-take: where are we in terms of achieving the targets and what extra effort, what extra momentum, what horsepower we need to get there by 2020?” WWF policy director Susan Brown said.
“And so we look at some of the barriers and stumbling blocks and… do countries actually have the resources, the financial mobilisation?”
For many, the answer is a blunt “No”.
“Many of the targets the world agreed on will not be met in time,” International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre told AFP.
“We can’t overstate the need for governments to intensify their efforts and resources for the sake of nature and the well-being of their people. This is the best investment we can and must make to ensure a sustainable future for all.”