New York City, NY – The Government of Japan today proposed to declare 2011-2020 the "UN Decade of Biodiversity" in an attempt to increase global efforts to stop the current environmental crisis. The proposal came during the UN General Assembly's first ever day dedicated to discussing biodiversity.
Conservation International's Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Policy, Lina Barrera, said:
"We strongly support this proposal as consistent conservation work is needed over the next decades if we want to stop biodiversity loss and alleviate poverty. It is time to be ambitious and work together – governments, NGOs, individuals and businesses – to address the biggest challenges facing our planet."
"The pressures on nature are growing too fast and the responses have clearly not been strong enough, so we urge world leaders to adopt Japan's proposal and put the environmental crisis at the top of their agendas."
Governments across the globe have failed to deliver on targets agreed in 2002 to slow the loss of biodiversity by this year. In about a month, Japan will host the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), when representatives from 193 countries will agree on new targets for the next decade.
Barrerra added: "As politicians make decisions based only on short term needs, our planet loses the capacity to renew itself and continue to provide us with the stocks of food, water, protection against extreme weather, and a host of incalculable cultural values that are vital for people and entire nations.
"Biodiversity is being lost at alarming rates and is affecting mainly those who are already the most vulnerable – the rural poor who directly depend on forests and the oceans for income generating activities, like fishing, craft making and tourism. Policymakers need to recognize that the environment is key for poverty alleviation and focus on long term solutions for our immediate problems."
Note to Editors:
Conservation International (CI) – Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity. With headquarters in Washington, DC, CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information visit www.conservation.org