Countdown 2010 in China

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

Biodiversity matters. It underlies the health of ecosystems, it supports human livelihoods and well-being, and it is being lost at an alarming rate. In China, one of the world’s most biodiversity-rich countries, more than 27% of species are considered threatened.

It is more important than ever to stop the loss of this natural capital. Governments, including China, have committed to save biodiversity by 2010. The conservation community, in China and around the world, can help them succeed.

In China and around the world, the challenge of saving biodiversity must be met at all levels – local, national, regional and global. With clear priorities, knowledge and expertise, we can explore and apply approaches that prevent biodiversity loss while preserving livelihoods and supporting human development.

2010 is just around the corner. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we join forces for our common goal. IUCN’s Countdown 2010 initiative is an important tool to show that conservation and development are inherently linked. It provides a platform for organisations — governments, non-government organisations, and businesses – to join together to communicate the importance of biodiversity and to share ways to conserve it.

I commend China’s Countdown 2010 partners for all of their hard work towards the 2010 target.

Zhuang Hao
IUCN China Programme Coordinator

Why Countdown 2010?

Biodiversity is essential and it is in danger. Governments have promised to save biodiversity by 2010. It is time to move from words to action. This is why the 2010 biodiversity target matters.

Time is running out for biodiversity… When Heads of State committed themselves to the 2010 biodiversity target at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, this ambitious target was lauded as an historic step in the right direction. Several scientific reports have since confirmed the gravity of the situation. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment found nearly two-thirds of ecosystem services worldwide in decline, the IUCN Red List now covers more than 16,000 endangered species, and the average abundance of species has declined by 40% in only thirty years.

Reaching the 2010 biodiversity target will require unprecedented additional efforts… Worldwide, more than 300 partners, including national and local governments, non-governmental organisations, and businesses have started to take up this challenge. They have created Countdown 2010, a powerful network of active partners working together to tackle the causes of biodiversity loss. Each partner commits extra efforts towards the 2010 biodiversity target. Acting together, the Countdown 2010 partners create a joint momentum to save biodiversity.

It is time to move from words to action… Countdown 2010 is part of a growing global movement to save biodiversity. Worldwide, on all levels – local, national, regional, and global – governments and non-government organisations are working hard to provide measurable results for 2010. By making the case for biodiversity and its conservation, calling upon decision makers to keep their promise to save biodiversity by 2010, and taking actions to stop the loss of biodiversity, Countdown 2010 and its partners assist governments worldwide in moving closer to the 2010 biodiversity target.

2010 is our chance… Committed to at the highest political level, the 2010 biodiversity target gives us focus, direction and the means to act together. Today, we have the knowledge and means to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss. By providing a framework for concerted and collective action, the 2010 biodiversity target has the potential to become a new unifying force. Together, we can join forces for our common goal and vision – a just world that values and conserves nature.

Countdown 2010 comes to China

“Focusing all our efforts on the achievement of the 2010 target of significantly reducing the loss of biodiversity in the coming years, we acknowledge the urgent need to halt human induced extinction of biodiversity as soon as possible. In this context we welcome the Countdown 2010 Initiative…” – Environment Ministers of G8 + China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, March 2007 Potsdam

From the steppes of Inner Mongolia to the alpine meadows of Tibet, from the Yellow River to the Yangtze, from the tropical forests of southwestern Yunnan to temperate forests that rank among the most biologically diverse in the world, China is characterized by a breathtaking variety of landscapes and ecosystems and an incredible array of species.

One of the world’s megadiverse countries, China is home to nearly 15% of the world’s mammals, 14% of the birds, and 18% of the fishes. China’s vast natural capital supports its rapid growth and development. But this natural capital is increasingly under threat. In 2006, nearly 3000 of the plants and animals featured in the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were found in China.

Endorsed by the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Countdown 2010 is now expanding from Europe to other regions of the world – from South America to Africa to Asia – including China. As a Party to the Convention on Biological Diversity, China is committed to the 2010 biodiversity target. The Countdown 2010 China Hub will highlight and support China’s progress towards this target.