A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets

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Science  10 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6206, pp. 241-244
DOI: 10.1126/science.1257484

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In 2010, the international community, under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, agreed on 20 biodiversity-related “Aichi Targets” to be achieved within a decade. We provide a comprehensive mid-term assessment of progress toward these global targets using 55 indicator data sets. We projected indicator trends to 2020 using an adaptive statistical framework that incorporated the specific properties of individual time series. On current trajectories, results suggest that despite accelerating policy and management responses to the biodiversity crisis, the impacts of these efforts are unlikely to be reflected in improved trends in the state of biodiversity by 2020. We highlight areas of societal endeavor requiring additional efforts to achieve the Aichi Targets, and provide a baseline against which to assess future progress.

Indicators of progress and decline

The targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010 focused international efforts to alleviate global biodiversity decline. However, many of the consequences of these efforts will not be evident by the 2020 deadline agreed to by governments of 150 countries. Tittensor et al. analyzed data on 55 different biodiversity indicators to predict progress toward the 2020 targets—indicators such as protected area coverage, land-use trends, and endangered species status. The analysis pinpoints the problems and areas that will need the most attention in the next few years.

Science, this issue p. 241

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