I’m here in Japan at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), together with around 50 colleagues from CI hoping to influence national delegates to set strong conservation targets for the next decade. The world is experiencing more than a financial crisis; a global biodiversity crisis is also underway, eroding nature’s ability to support human societies. The diversity of life on Earth underpins healthy ecosystems which provide us with a plethora of services such as food, timber, clean water, medicines and climate regulation.
Last evening we held a side event on protected areas, where we presented our key messages, including a call for protecting 25 percent of Earth’s land and 15 percent of oceans by 2020 in order to protect biodiversity and secure important ecosystem services.
Currently, only about 13 percent of the land and less than 1 percent of the oceans are under some kind of protection.
At the CBD, there are many sessions happening simultaneously, and many people are tired from a combination of long work days and jetlag. Still, many people turned up to our event, and our meeting room was packed for the entire hour and a half. I think the session went well; people seemed to be very receptive to our key messages.
As a conservation scientist at CI, I mostly attend scientific conferences, so it is very eye-opening to witness the negotiation process of an international agreement. It is also exciting to see the effectiveness and hard work of CI’s delegation to influence decisions. Hopefully, the efforts will bear fruit and the world’s governments will stand up to the challenge by setting strong targets for 2020. We will keep talking with national delegates, journalists and others here in Nagoya to push this agenda forward.
Frank W. Larsen is a conservation scientist in CI’s Science & Knowledge division.