Saving biodiversity

07 September 2010 | News story

Ghent (Belgium), 8 September 2010 – The IUCN’s Countdown 2010 initiative is almost over. But the actions of its nearly 1,100 partners worldwide are not! It’s 2010 – a year of stock-taking for world governments and for the Countdown 2010 initiative. The 2010 Biodiversity Target was not reached but the thousands of biodiversity actions taken by Countdown 2010 partners are an important step towards the improvement of the status of biodiversity and the increase of public awareness.
 

 “Countdown 2010 brings together hundreds of diverse actors united by a common goal: conserving biodiversity – our lifeline. More than 1,000 Countdown 2010 partners have made great strides towards realizing the global biodiversity target in every part of the world and at every level and I warmly congratulate them on their success. Their actions will bring about tangible benefits for biodiversity. Their achievements will inspire others. Their commitment will ensure that the Countdown 2010 spirit continues well beyond 2010” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director-General.

A number of success stories have been selected out of more than 1,000 partners. The new publication “Made in Countdown 2010” is a collection of 20 of the best success stories by Countdown 2010 partners which have helped to make a difference for biodiversity. The stories come from partners from Europe and Asia to Africa, from North America to South America. Examples of successful actions include adoption of protection measures, implementation of action plans, raising awareness and reduction of biodiversity impact.

Some examples:
• In Denmark, 40% of the municipalities have become Countdown 2010 partners and all have committed to actions for biodiversity (http://www.countdown2010.net/article/denmark). Listen to partners’ experiences (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJOfjRmMlD0).
• In England, Natural England – an environmental public body – has created the Countdown 2010 Biodiversity Action Fund which in total has supported 70 biodiversity projects with £9 million (http://www.countdown2010.net/article/natural-england).
• In Switzerland, 8% of the food sold in Coop stores is organic, and more than 2,000 organic food products are labelled with a dedicated label thanks to the effort of the largest supermarket chain in the country (http://www.countdown2010.net/article/coop).

The actions of Countdown 2010 partners will bring about tangible benefits for biodiversity. Their achievements will inspire others. Their commitment will ensure that the Countdown 2010 spirit continues well beyond 2010” says Marton-Lefèvre.

The Countdown 2010 Secretariat has also gathered hundreds of biodiversity messages from people all over the world during 2010 – the International Year of Biodiversity. All the cards were put together in a large photo mosaic. People were asked to write their personal message on what biodiversity means to them and how to save it. Cards were collected from partners, participants to the European Commission’s Green Week 2010, and the website. The Biodiversity needs all of us! Mosaic can be found here www.countdown2010.net/mosaic.

The publication and the photo mosaic will be launched on 8 September at the “Biodiversity post-2010 - Biodiversity in a changing world” conference is organized by the Belgian Presidency to the European Union in cooperation with IUCN.