Carlos Manuel Rodriguez is currently attending the 12th Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Learn more about what’s on the meeting’s agenda.
Tiger in India. Species and ecosystems form the building blocks of life on Earth, providing innumerable benefits for people. yet they are increasingly threatened by human activities. (© Conservation International/photo by Frank Hawkins)
Over the past 18 months, I have been part of a group that has had the task of assessing, for the first time, the global cost of protecting biodiversity.
More specifically, we’ve looked at the predicted costs, benefits and opportunities to meet the Aichi Biodiversity Targets: 20 goals established at the 2010 meeting of the CBD that aim to collectively secure the future of Earth’s species and ecosystems by 2020.
Biodiversity forms the building blocks of all life on Earth, yet human impacts like climate change, deforestation and overexploitation of species have brought about what many are calling the Anthropocene, an era when we may be causing irreversible damage to the planet that makes all our lives possible.
As chair of a high-level panel organized by the CBD, I was honored to join 14 colleagues from various countries and disciplines in months of discussion and debate around the following questions:
- What financial resources do nations need to meet the Aichi targets?
- How can we improve the flow of funding through international cooperation?
- How can nations substantially increase domestic funding for conservation?
- What is the global financial gap between what we’re spending and what we should be?
In our first report in 2012, we estimated that it would take US$ 150–430 billion per year between 2013 and 2020 to meet all the Aichi targets. Since then, we’ve built on those findings by initiating a more bottom-up approach that takes greater account of regional evidence, placing more emphasis on the costs and benefits of meeting the targets, cost-effective means of reaching objectives and overlaps with other policy agendas.
Our findings have come at a critical time. This week at the CBD meeting in South Korea, nations are in the midst of defining a global strategy to mobilize financing for biodiversity.
The $150–430 billion figure may sound impossibly high, but it’s absolutely doable — and necessary. Here’s why. Continue reading