This year isn’t starting out with the best news. According to a draft plan released by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity on Monday, we only have 10 years to protect Earth’s biodiversity before mass extinction will become irreversible. The plan set global goals to fight the biodiversity crisis, including reducing carbon emissions and making strides toward food sustainability.
“Biodiversity and the benefits it proves,” the plan reads, “is fundamental to human well-being and a healthy planet. Despite ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to continue or worsen under business-as-usual scenarios.”
The convention hopes to stabilize our biodiversity by 2030 with an optimistic recovery date of 2050, though it will take a concerted effort from the global community to make this a reality. Among these goals are giving protected status to at least 30 percent of important biodiversity sites, cutting pollution by 50 percent, ensuring that trade of all wild species is legal, making the economic sector more sustainable, and involving indigenous communities in conservation efforts.
As scientists believe Earth is in the middle of its sixth mass extinction event, rising population, depleted resources, and dwindling biodiversity are the main culprits. If efforts are made to curb biodiversity loss and conserve resources, we may be able to pull ourselves out of this dire situation.