Nature's health check - IUCN at the UN biodiversity conference

10 October 2012 | Article

What’s the prognosis for the natural world? Are governments putting their commitments on saving biodiversity into action? This is what we’ll be finding out at the UN biodiversity summit that takes place 8-19 October in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

As governments gather for the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the spotlight will be on what progress is being made towards the 20 global targets to save and restore nature that were agreed on at the 2010 Nagoya Biodiversity Summit.

“In Nagoya, we agreed the Big Plan with ambitious yet realistic targets to save our planet’s biodiversity,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We need to keep the momentum going. Biodiversity loss continues and has breached safe planetary boundaries. It’s time for a serious check-up on progress we’ve made to turn the Big Plan into Big Action.”

Translating global targets into local action involves countries developing and implementing national biodiversity strategies. For many years IUCN has helped States address particular threats to biodiversity such as invasive alien species, overfishing and deforestation.

“Nature’s role in tackling today’s social and economic issues took centre stage at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September and at the Rio+20 summit in June,” says Jane Smart, Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group. “Healthy forests, rivers and oceans bring solutions to some of our greatest challenges, including climate change, food security, poverty and access to water and energy.”

“Investing in this ‘natural infrastructure’ is a cost-effective way to respond to long-term human needs. In a time of global economic crisis, it’s an investment that will go a long way.”

We’re reporting live from Hyderabad with news releases, articles and blog posts.