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Global Biodiversity Outlook - Target 30x30 (17 September 2020)

Global Biodiversity Outlook - Target 30x30 (17 September 2020)

Why in News:

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity has released its fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook report.


The report says that none of the 20 agreed conservation targets of the past 10 years could be fully met by the world. Experts believe that all nations will now have to implement the ambitious new target of protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030 – popularly known as 30x30 target – under the UN Convention.


The Global Biodiversity Outlook report is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

It is a periodic report that summarizes the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions relevant to the further implementation of the Convention.

It summarizes progress made towards achieving the objectives of the Convention, such as the Aichi Targets and identifies key actions to achieve these.

The 20x20 target was set in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan and it is known as the Aichi Biodiversity target.

Summary of the Debate

Key finding of the Report:

  • The world was supposed to meet these targets by 2020. But according to the report, none of the 20 ‘Aichi Biodiversity Targets’ agreed on by national governments through the CBD has been met.
  • The world has not achieved 14 targets relating to conservation of species, sustainable agriculture, oceans, corals, forests, etc. and achieved six targets.
  • The report highlight that the world would now require more than one ‘earths’ (1.7) to regenerate the biological resources used by humanity from 2011 to 2016.
  • The report flagged India’s ‘zero budget natural farming’ approach of sustainable agriculture.
  • It also mentioned therole of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in being not only the biggest social security scheme in the world but also playing a part in employment generation through schemes related to restoration, rehabilitation and conservation of natural resources.
  • The land are which is permanent outside the ice area, 70 percent of the land has been impacted very severely by the human action and most of the species are terrestrial species as well as the marine species, all of them are suffering very severely.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a legally binding treaty to conserve biodiversity has been in force since 1993.
  • The CBD Secretariat is based in Montreal, Canada and it operates under the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • The Parties (Countries) under Convention of Biodiversity (CBD) meet at regular interval and these meetings are called Conference of Parties (COP).
  • CBD has 3 main objectives:
    • The conservation of biological diversity.
    • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.
    • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO-5) | UNEP - UN Environment Programme

The Report highlighted following suggestions to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity:

  • Sustainable agriculture: Farmers need to reduce the use of chemicals and instead focus more on agroecological farming practices.
  • Climate action: The report called for nature-based solutions to reduce climate change.
  • Transition within land and forests: The report called the restoration of all forests that had been degraded.
  • Sustainable food systems: The report urged people to eat healthier, plant-based food and less meat. It also called for a focus on the problem of food wastage within the supply chain and household.
  • One health: Agricultural and urban ecosystems, as well as wildlife, should be managed in an integrated manner.

Aichi Targets

The ‘Aichi Targets’ were adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at its Nagoya conference. It is a short term plan provides a set of 20 ambitious targets, collectively known as the Aichi Targets.

They can be divided into:

  • Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.
  • Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.
  • Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.
  • Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.

Way Forward:

  • There is need to incorporate mainstream biodiversity in every decision making process and in every administrative process in a very serious manner.
  • The businesses need to realise that when they set their economic target or they think the sustainability of their profit, the sustainability concern and the biodiversity conseravation should be integral part to ensure sustainability of their business value chain.
  • At the government level, when any city is being developed, the green infrastructure within the city and the water table sustainability need to be ensured.
  • It has to be integrated approach and it has to be taken as an essential component of planning.
  • Single species cultivation or mono crop cultivation must be replaced by multi crop cultivation, which is multi layer cultivation where trees are the part of it. The multi layer cropping improve the soil and it is a conservation farming.

Important points made by the Guests

Prof. C.K. Varshney, Environmentalist & Former Dean, School of Environment Sciences, JNU 

  • The report gives a very clear warning that the global community is really entering in to a most serious phase for it survival.
  • Biodiversity is basis for all human society irrespective of their geography. Even the past society, the present society as well as the future society are only going to get their nourishment from biodiversity.
  • The report says that global community has not been very sensitive to the biodiversity issues. For 10 years the world has not been able to make in progress, where we should have really progress quite a bit, in order to support our base, in order to generate more resources, in order to provide resources for human welfare and for human containment.
  • The covid situation is just an increased interaction with the wildlife of the human species that the virus has jumped which remains within the wildlife to the human community and it has really shaken up the economy; it has eroded the last many many decades of progress and economy growth.
  • The kind of engagement we have with the climate change has completely taken all our resources and enthusiasm. If we are capable of maintaining our biodiversity then we are capable of handling impact of climate change also in a more successful manner.
  • It is absolutely important that we should understand, we should make definite laws and we should really coordinate all our plans, projects and activities where the biodiversity concerns are not an appendix but are central and it is around this that every activity has to be global in order to really project ourselves to ensure our future and to really ensure our resources from the land.

 Urmi Goswami, Assistant Editor, Economic Times 

  • World as a whole is not going to meet any of these targets. The degradation of ecosystem and loss of biodiversity is kind of speeded up. Another report that was released few days earlier is the Living Planet Report by WWF which says that population of vertebrate species declined by around 68 per cent between 1970 and 2016.
  • The previous edition of that report which came out in 2018, found that there has been 60 percent decline in 1970 and 2014.
  • The world agreed to set 20 targets which comprise 60 elements, where some of these elements will be met.
  • We have been missing biodiversity related target for two decade. The 30 percent target for 2030 is a kind of pathway to the living in harmony with the nature in 2050.
  • Often we talk about biodiversity, we talk in terms of animals, birds but actually we too are part of biodiversity, the only problem is that in this case is, one of the species is kind of overtaken everything and their activities are driving the other out.
  • If we don’t address the vision, we won’t be able to meet the other goals, the economic goals we have. When we are talking about biodiversity and loss of ecosystem services, we are talking about things like fresh water, without fresh water we are not able to have any economic activity.

 Vivek Saxena, Country Representative, IUCN

  • This report alarming us during the covid time itself gives a message that what we should do. It also give some sort of introspection that in the past what way we have been able to conserve the biodiversity.
  • The current covid pandemic is also somewhere rooted with the disruption of the ecosystem for our disconnect with the nature.
  • The Global Biodiversity Outlook report says the target which was set up for 2020 and initiated in 2010, known as Aichi Biodiversity target and we are not able to meet those targets with the objective with which it was setup.
  • Some of the countries may have achieved to some extent in some of the things and some of the countries may be lagging in some other.
  • IUCN has been quite active right from the beginning and it is one of the oldest environment conservation network which was setup in 1948 and it has played a very significant role in shaping the global conservation agenda, for example; world conservation strategy and now the post 2020 biodiversity framework.
  • IUCN has recently launched the Global standard on nature based solution in July 2020 and one of the important role which IUCN has played globally in terms of species conservation as one of the important knowledge product for which IUCN has a brand value in terms of the red listing of the species. There are eight categories of red listing accordingly based on the range, population, etc.
  • This is one of the great message when we look towards this report that what we should do for the next 10 years. There are 8 important areas where we need to work. In terms of 2030, 30 percent of the land area and 30 percent of the ocean need to be conserve over the next 10 years to strive for a global biodiversity framework which we are setting for 2050.


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