The 2010 Biodiversity Target

the 2010 target

More than one decade after the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the recognition of biodiversity loss has gained high political profile both at global, national and regional levels. This has resulted in ambitious commitments for action by heads of states, initiated in 2001 in the European Union.

The goal of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 is the subject of several key international agreements. Each recognises the rapid degradation of ecosystems and habitats, the increasing threat to many species populations and the urgent need to take action that will halt the decline in irreplaceable natural resources.

While at global level, the Target is “to achieve a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss”, the one addressed at EU and Pan-European level is even more ambitious as to “halt the loss of biodiversity”. Since 2007, the 2010 Biodiversity Target is fully integrated into the Millennium Development Goals.

In political terms, this commitment represents a radical departure from previous approaches. For the first time, an overall conservation target has been adopted rather than generally formulated objectives or specific measures that may or may not have the desired conservation effect. In that sense, the significance of this agreement cannot be overstated.

However, given the current rapid decline in biodiversity, both in Europe and worldwide, and the ever-increasing extent and intensity of many human activities, the objective of halting the decline in biodiversity by 2010 will require unprecedented efforts in adapting our activities to the needs of natural systems.

tematea The Countdown 2010 Secretariat hosts Tematea, a joint project of IUCN and UNEP which supports a better and more coherent national implementation of biodiversity-related conventions.


16 June 2001, Gothenburg, Sweden

biodiversity decline should be halted with the aim of reaching this objective by 2010

Under the Swedish Presidency, Heads of State of the European Union agreed on the EU strategy for sustainable development. Mentioned for the first time, the 2010 Biodiversity Target became one of its headline objectives for managing and conserving natural resources.

19 April 2002, The Hague, the Netherlands

to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss

The 188 parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity made the 2010 Biodiversity Target the key mission to achieve their objectives: the conservation of biodiversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

4 September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa

the achievement by 2010 of a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity

The UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, held to increase efforts to reverse environmental degradation and combat poverty, identified the critical role of biodiversity and endorsed the 2010 Biodiversity Target.

23 May 2003, Kiev, Ukraine

reinforce our objective to halt the loss of biological diversity at all levels by the year 2010

Environment Ministers and Heads of delegation from 51 countries in the UNECE region adopted the Kiev Resolution on Biodiversity at the fifth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” and defined objectives to achieve the 2010 Biodiversity Target.

22 May 2006, Brussels, Belgium

to deliver the 2010 biodiversity target and put biodiversity on course to recovery

The European Commission’s Communication on “Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 – and beyond” operationalises the 2010 Biodiversity Target with ten priority objectives and a detailed action plan containing more than 150 concrete and measurable action points with shared responsibility between Member States and the European Community.

15-17 March 2007, Potsdam, Germany

we will develop and implement national targets and strategies in order to achieve the 2010 target and beyond

The G8 Environment Ministers reinforce their efforts on the achievement of the 2010 Target for the coming years as they acknowledge the urgent need to halt human induced extinction of biodiversity as soon as possible. They call for an analysis of the global economic benefit of biological diversity, the costs of the loss of biodiversity and the failure to take protective measures versus the costs of effective conservation.

22 May 2007, New York, USA

The 2010 Biodiversity Target is now fully integrated into the framework of the Millennium Development Goals and, as a sign of further support, the international community decided to declare 2010 the International Year for Biological Diversity.

In 2006, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan suggested to incorporate the 2010 Biodiversity Target into the Millennium Development Goals. In his speech on biodiversity day 2007, Ban Ki-Moon announced the full integration of the target and the International Year for Biological Diversity in 2010.

24-26 May 2008, Kobe, Japan

reiterating our commitment to increase our efforts to achieve the globally-agreed target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010

The G8 Environment Ministers undersign the “Kobe Call for Action for Biodiversity” which further encourages the implementation of the ten activities included in the “Potsdam Initiative-Biological Diversity 2010″. They express the need to initiate a dialogue process to consider options for following up the 2010 Target, including, for example, the development and adoption of a post-2010 target under the aegis of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

30 May 2008, Bonn, Germany

for achieving the 2010 target it is essential to take urgent and strong actions

The Ninth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity was the last one before 2010. Parties reinforced their commitment to the 2010 Biodiversity Target and called for more action. Tematea is

8 October 2008, Barcelona, Spain

G8+5 countries show medium to low performance in achieving the 2010 biodiversity target

The Countdown 2010 Readiness Assessment – presented at the IUCN World Conservation Congress – measures countries’ responses in terms of efforts taken within the environment sector, as well as national policies to integrate biodiversity concerns and awareness raising across sectors and decision making processes.

11 February 2009, Brussels, Belgium

the EU will not reach the 2010 target. We need to reinforce our efforts to sustain the variety of life

The Intergroup on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Sustainable Development of the European Parliament, in cooperation with Countdown 2010, gathered more than 150 people from all Europe and elsewhere to make the case for biodiversity among European Members of Parliament.

20 May 2009, Lima, Peru

recognising the progress made, the South American countries remain deeply concerned about the possibility to reach the 2010 target

Representatives from nine of the ten countries in the South American region reflected on their accomplishments for the 2010 Target and identified the priority areas for action before 2010: communication to promote awareness and involvement of key sectors beyond the traditional environmental and conservation actors.

25 June 2009, Luxembourg

deeply concerned by the European Commission’s assessment that the EU is unlikely to meet its 2010 target

The Environment Council of the European Union expressed the need for a vision and targets beyond 2010 for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the EU to be defined not later than mid-2010. At global level, the EU wishes to develop key strategic principles to give its input in the review of the Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity and contribute to the international post-2010 vision.