During the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) taking place in South Korea, the Global Biodiversity Outlook report was released showing that countries around the globe are way behind schedule on protecting the Earth, its resources and wildlife.
“There has been an increase in effort (by governments) … but this will not be enough to reach the targets,” explained Braulio de Souza Dias, executive secretary of the CBD.
In 2010 the UN had countries agree to take direct measures to better care for the planet, decreasing pollution, deforestation and the rate at which species are disappearing by 2020. The report shows, however, that out of 53 goals, global leaders are only on schedule for five of them. The other 48 are in need of much more attention.
The goals that are currently on schedule to be met include setting out more natural reserves and parks to have 17 percent of the Earth’s land area completely protected. Areas like the one recently opened in France protect wildlife and ensure that nature is kept untouched in some parts of the planet.
Among the goals that need immediate attention were diminishing the number of endangered species.
“Despite individual success stories, the average risk of extinction for birds, mammals and amphibians is still increasing,” the report said. The facts are backed up by a recent study that showed that half of the world’s wild animals have disappeared in the last 40 years.
The report also reminded that to achieve the goals set out for 2020, governments around the world will have to collectively spend $150 billion to $440 billion per year. Today that expense is at around $50 billion.
It may seem like a splurge but U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded people that protecting the Earth helps with other goals like “eliminating poverty, improving human health and providing energy, food and clean water for all.”
According to Dias, private citizens, especially those with a big impact in the environment around them, should also do their part.
“Many big companies still refuse to take responsibility for the environmental impact of their supply chain,” he lamented.
Come on, world! We have six years. Let’s get it together!