Humanity only has a few years to prevent the sixth mass extinction of species that the planet has suffered in its history, this time caused by the action of man, as the authors of the fifth UN report on biodiversity explain to the Efe agency.
The report Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, published last Tuesday by the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), points out that only to completeseven of the 60 success criteria established in the Aichi targets in 2010. Another 38 “show progress”, in 13 there has been no progress and in the final two criteria their situation is not known.
The report concludes that the 20 targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 they have only been partially fulfilled.
The report is one of the building blocks for CBD to establish a new series of goals for the next decade (2021-2030), which will be adopted at the XV meeting of the Paris Conference (COP-15) to be held in the Chinese city of Kunming in October 2021.
The Executive Secretary of the Biodiversity Convention, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, has stated that the results of the report are disappointing and disconcerting.
“This is the fifth report. I hoped that after four previous reports, the world had learned its lesson and that the fifth would give us more positive results than we have“, Mrema has confessed.
“Personally it has been disappointing that after decades of work, the loss of biodiversity continues at an unprecedented rate in the history of mankind. It’s disconcerting, ”he continued.
“When we look at statistics like the threat of extinction of more than a million speciesone wonders if the biodiversity community is doing the right thing, “he added.
For his part, the main author of the report, David Cooper, has said that only with measures of conservation and restoration cannot be avoided for the sixth mass extinction of species that the planet has suffered in its history.
“To bend the curve we have to invest in conservation and restoration but we also have to adopt strong measures on the side of production and consumption. We need action throughout the economy ”, he stated.
Cooper emphasizes that one of the most necessary measures is the elimination of subsidiesgovernmental to sectors that cause serious environmental damage and that the fifth biodiversity report values at 500,000 million dollars (421,000 million euros) a year.
The report notes that fundamental changes are needed in a variety of human activities and groups them into eight “transitions” in as many areas: land and forests, agriculture, food systems, fisheries and oceans, cities and infrastructure, fresh water, climate action and health.
Both Mrema and Cooper have claimed that the fifth biodiversity report shows a clear suspense overall although there is reason for hope because there are areas in which progress has been made.
“One of the key messages is that where measures have been taken we see progress. As the reduction of deforestation levels, which in this decade has been a third less than in the previous decade ”, Cooper has pointed out.
“And where good fisheries management has been carried out, we see recovery. There have also been significant successes in the eradication of invasive species on islands and we have been very successful in expanding protected areas, especially in marine areas ”, he continued.
Few years to take action
All of this has resulted in the number of species extinctions being reduced by at least half during the period. But both Mrema and Cooper insist on the pressing need to significant changes to avoid a catastrophe.
“It is evident that as with climate change, we only have a few years to take the necessary measures. And many of the things that need to be done are the same as what is necessary for climate change, ”Cooper said.
“For example, changes in land use it is part of what is necessary to prevent the sixth mass extinction and to help solve climate change ”, he concluded.