The outcome of activities to reach the 2010 target set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2002 was reported in a study in Science this week. The study tracked 31 indicators of the health of biodiversity, such as population trends and habitat condition, from 1970 to the present. Most indicators showed that biodiversity continues to decline with no significant reductions in the rate of loss. For example, vertebrate populations have declined by 31% between 1970 and 2006. In addition, indicators of pressures on biodiversity, such as invasive alien species and climate change, have also increased, the study found. For example the number of alien species in Europe has increased by 76% between 1970 and 2007, according to the study.
“The magnitude and rate of loss of biodiversity means that everyone, from individuals to businesses, must act now to save all life on Earth before we reach breaking point,” Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy head of the Species Programme at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, told BBC News.
The study will feed into the CBD’s report on the state of the world’s biodiversity due out on 10 May. Conservationists will highlight the world’s failure to stem biodiversity loss to push for renewed efforts and more ambitious targets when signatory countries to the convention meet in Nagoya, Japan, from 18 to 29 October 2010.