2011-2020 United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

Following the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, the UN declared 2011-2020 as the Decade of Biodiversity. This decade is meant to promote and raise awareness about the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The targets are specific goals that are related to the broad themes and goals of the Strategic Plan.

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What is the Strategic Plan?

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The Strategic Plan was created by the United Nations. Its mission is to "take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity in order to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services, thereby securing the planet's variety of life, and contributing to human well-being, and poverty eradication" (UN Strategic Plan for Biodiversity).

In order to ensure the preservation of biodiversity, the Plan includes 5 broad goals:

A) Raise awareness of biodiversity (what it is, why it’s important) with the goal of slowing and stopping loss of biodiversity;
B) Promote sustainable use of natural resources, reducing pressure on them;
C) Formally recognize the importance of (and protect) ecosystem, species and genetic diversity;
D) Enhance benefits derived from ecosystem services and biodiversity; and
E) Strengthen abilities to implement the plan and targets, including capacity building.

(Source: UN Strategic Plan for Biodiversity)

What are the Aichi Targets?

These five goals are further broken down into the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. These are 20 more specific objectives, including the year by which it should be achieved. Most of them have a target of 2020, which is the final year in the Decade of Biodiversity.

One Aichi Target is to halve the rate of natural habit loss, including forests, by 2020. Another example is the conservation of 17% of inland waters and 10% of coastal waters by 2020. An earlier target is to have the Nagoya Protocol (which ensures access to, and benefits from, genetic resources) fully enforced by 2015.

Friends of the CBD

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In order to encourage the implementation of the Strategic Plan in Canada, the RCEN has become the host of the Friends of the Convention of Biological Diversity Association. This Association has representatives from a variety of sectors, and is working towards promoting biological diversity in Canada.

The RCEN has also prepared a Backgrounder on the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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