published on 18 September 2020 in life

Global Biodiversity Outlook published

The fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO), the report drawn up by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which summarises the most recent data on the state of biodiversity and draws conclusions relevant to the implementation of the Convention, has been published recently.

This year’s study is considered to be particularly significant because it serves as a ‘final report card’ for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, a set of 20 targets set in 2010, at the start of the UN Decade on Biodiversity. Most of these targets were to be achieved by the end of this year. However, none of the twenty can be considered completed and only six are deemed to be partially achieved. Although this apparent failure is a cause for concern, the authors of the Outlook would like to point out that practically all countries are now taking steps to protect biodiversity.

The report contains some recommendations, or ‘transitions’, that outline a path towards abandoning ‘business as usual’ and reversing biodiversity loss.

  • Land and forest transition: keeping  ecosystems intact, restoring degraded ones, using land use planning.
  • Transition to sustainable agriculture: redesigning farming systems using agro-ecological or innovative approaches to increase productivity while minimising negative effects on biodiversity.
  • Transition to sustainable food systems: promoting sustainable and healthy diets that emphasise a diversity of foods, mainly of plant origin, and a more moderate consumption of meat and fish, as well as a significant reduction of waste in the food chain and consumption.
  • Transition to sustainable oceans: protecting and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems, rebuilding fisheries and managing aquaculture and other ocean exploitation systems while ensuring sustainability.
  • Transition of cities and infrastructure: deploying a “green infrastructure” and giving nature a place in the built environment, in order to improve the health and quality of life of citizens, reducing the environmental footprint of urban centres.
  • Transition to sustainable use of freshwater : adopting an integrated approach that ensures the essential flow of rivers for nature and populations, improving water quality, protecting critical habitats, controlling invasive alien species and protecting ecosystem connectivity.
  • Transition to sustainable climate action: adopting nature-based solutions by rapidly eliminating the use of fossil fuels to reduce the extent of the effects of climate change.
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