Seven steps to save biodiversity

The Countdown 2010 initiative was closed in 2010. This website and all information it contains may not be up to date.

The year 2010 is just around the corner. There’s an emerging consensus about what needs to be done to save biodiversity in the next few months:

  • Species and ecosystems need space to develop and recover. At least 10% of all ecosystem types should be under protection to maintain nature and natural landscapes.
  • Without biodiversity there will be no agriculture. Farming practices should not jeopardize species survival: improving farmland diversity and reducing the usage of pesticides and fertiliser are key efforts to saving biodiversity. Organic agriculture practices can serve as an example in many areas.
  • 75% of all fisheries are fully exploited or over-fished. Species like cod, haddock and halibut are already threatened. If we do not move towards sustainable use, there will be no fish left for our grandchildren.
  • Roads, factories and housing destroy habitats for animals and plants. If urban and rural development continues to ignore nature, our surroundings will be dominated by concrete and pollution.
  • Climate change is considered to be the greatest challenge for humanity. With changing conditions, ecosystems and habitats will change as well. It is an obligation to fight climate change and make sure that species can migrate or adapt to new surroundings.
  • If you release a species outside its usual habitat, it might simply die. In other cases, the so-called alien invasive species have thrived and destroyed local flora and fauna. As you never know how things turn out, reducing these invasions is crucial.
  • Biodiversity is the foundation for sustainable development. Its ecosystem services provide the basis for all economic activity. Biodiversity concerns need thus be integrated into all areas of policy-making. Measures include market incentives, development assistance, biodiversity-friendly trade and international governance processes.

seven steps

Since the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992, most countries have developed National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans. These plans outline specific measures to reach the objectives of the convention and, more recently, the 2010 Biodiversity Target. All National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans can be found at http://www.cbd.int/reports/.