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Why have countries failed to meet their biodiversity goals?

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

Source: Indian Express

 Context: Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are meeting in Montreal, Canada for a new global agreement on halting environmental loss.

Many of the 24 conservation targets under discussion at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) aim to avoid past mistakes and improve on the world’s last set of conservation goals — the Aichi Biodiversity Targets that expired in 2020.

  

What were the Aichi Targets?

The Aichi Targets, adopted during the 2010 CBD summit in Nagoya, included goals such as reducing deforestation by at least half during the coming decade and curbing pollution so that it no longer harmed ecosystems.

  

To what extent were the Aichi Targets met?

Aichi was deemed a failure by the United Nations and the CBD secretariat called on parties to come up with another guiding document to direct conservation efforts through 2030 and beyond.

  

Why did the Aichi Targets fail?

  • Policy lacuna:
    • Siloed approach of conservation: Integrating protected areas across landscapes and seascapes and in development sectors has been lacking.
    • 15% of parties to the Aichi targets have still not created a national biodiversity strategy and action plan
  • Implementation lacuna:
    • Lack of financing for conservation
    • Poor data collection
    • Lack of standard uniform accounting tool for biodiversity services estimation: UN’s SEEA (System of environmental-economic accounting) has not been uniformly adopted by countries.
    • Low awareness regarding government programs: especially among tribal communities due to issues such as language and accessibility barriers.
    • Poor capacity building esp. at the local level: In India, Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) (under Biological Diversity Act, 2002) are often ill-equipped to make informed decisions regarding biodiversity-related issues.
  • Other reasons:
    • Land degradation: Only 25% of land on earth is currently, free of the impacts of human activities and even this is projected to decline to less than 10% by 2050.
    • Inability to control Plastic pollution
    • Inability to form a common consensus on reducing climate change
    • Resource overuse and deforestation: It is estimated that around 50% of the world’s mature forests have been cleared by humans.
    • Over-population

  

India’s progress:

India amended its National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) to cover all 20 Aichi targets into 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBTs). As per India’s 6th National Report, India is on track to achieve 9 out of its 12 NBTs.

 

Insta Link:

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Mains Link:

Q. How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 helpful in the conservation of flora and fauna? (UPSC – 2018)

  

Prelims Link:

Consider the following international agreements (UPSC – 2014)

  1. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
  2. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
  3. The World Heritage Convention

Which of the above has/have a bearing on biodiversity?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution: D – 1, 2 and 3.

All of them have a bearing on the biodiversity