Commentary: Will new UN biodiversity targets stop the decline of wildlife?


Planning within countries to meet these global targets has depended on working with civil society groups, businesses and local government, which is often difficult.

In an effort to address these problems, governments have consulted with leaders in business and finance, as well as indigenous peoples, youth and women’s groups, at COP15.

Countries spent three to four years following the 2010 conference developing national strategies to meet their targets, with not enough time to actually implement them before the 2020 milestone.

Now, 192 countries have national biodiversity strategies and action plans in place, and that should allow them to hit the ground running.


Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a new Kunming biodiversity fund of 1.5 billion yuan (US$233 million) to support projects for protecting biodiversity in developing countries, while Japan extended its own biodiversity fund by 1.8 billion yen (US$17 million).

There have been other pledges, including that of the European Commission which plans to double funding for biodiversity.

These are relatively small amounts compared to funds coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme, which has a US$3.2 billion portfolio in 138 countries, invested in managing invasive species, combating poaching, restoring coral reefs and maintaining protected areas.

In September, nine philanthropic organisations pledged US$5 billion to protect nature.

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