BirdLife was released today a new report, Birds and Biodiversity Targets, building on recent coverage of the world’s catastrophic failure to meet global biodiversity conservation goals. While there has been a lot of doom and darkness surrounding this issue, there have also been numerous successes over the past decade that show how achievable and affordable conservation can be with sufficient political investment.
Birds and Biodiversity Targets, part of our flagship State of the World Birds range, uses our extensive global research to create a roadmap to ensure the 2020s is not just another “lost decade for nature”. This publication not only outlines the shortcomings of each goal, but also brings a message of hope to the world. Based on successes in bird protection, it shows that there are solutions to the problems of the biosphere and that nature can recover quickly when these come into effect.
The report aims to dispel the idea that governments failed because the goals could not be met and outlines the actions needed to chart a course in which nature and humans can live in harmony by 2050 .
The most important achievements of the last decade include:
Some of the top bird protection sites – major bird and biodiversity areas – have been officially recognized as protected areas, and their average coverage has increased from 38% to 44% since 2010.
Conservation has prevented up to 48 extinctions and has slowed the rate at which species are approaching extinction by 40% over the past few decades.
Measures to prevent accidental bycatch of seabirds in the fishery have virtually eliminated albatross deaths in the South African hake trawling fishery.
Community efforts to combat bird hunting have been spectacularly successful in some locations, for example the capture of> 100,000 Amur falcons per year ended in Nagaland, India.
Based on lessons learned from our work, our recommendations include:
The new goals should be more ambitious, such as preserving all major areas of biodiversity, reducing man-made extinction and restoring native species levels to 1970s levels by 2050.
The new goals need a clear, communicable and overarching goal – comparable to the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 ° C.
The goals must be SMART – specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic, and time-bound – and each goal should be broken down into clear steps that outline how it can be achieved.
Climate protection goals should promote nature-based solutions (e.g. forests as carbon sinks) that support both nature and people.
The goals for health and wellbeing should focus on access to blue and green spaces.