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A robust goal is needed for species in the Post‐2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Brooke A. Williams, James E.M. Watson, Stuart H.M. Butchart, Michelle Ward, Thomas M. Brooks, Nathalie Butt, Friederike C. Bolam, Simon N. Stuart, Louise Mair, Philip J. K. McGowan, Richard Gregory, Craig Hilton‐Taylor, David Mallon, Ian Harrison, Jeremy S. Simmonds

Conservation Letters

December 10, 2020

In 2010, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 to address the loss and degradation of nature. Subsequently, most biodiversity indicators continued to decline. Nevertheless, conservation actions can make a positive difference for biodiversity. The emerging Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has potential to catalyze efforts to “bend the curve” of biodiversity loss. Thus, the inclusion of a goal on species, articulated as Goal B in the Zero Draft of the Post-2020 Framework, is essential. However, as currently formulated, this goal is inadequate for preventing extinctions, and reversing population declines; both of which are required to achieve the CBD’s 2030 Mission. We contend it is unacceptable that Goal B could be met while most threatened species deteriorated in status and many avoidable species extinctions occurred. We examine the limitations of the current wording and propose an articulation with robust scientific basis. A goal for species that strives to end extinctions and recover populations of all species that have experienced population declines, and especially those at risk of extinction, would help to align actors toward the transformative actions and interventions needed for humans to live in harmony with nature.

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Williams, B. A., Watson, J. E. M., Butchart, S. H. M., Ward, M., Brooks, T. M., Butt, N., … Simmonds, J. S. (2020). A robust goal is needed for species in the Post‐2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Conservation Letters. doi:10.1111/conl.12778