This week conservation ecologist Guillaume Chapron and journalist George Monbiot launched Biodiversity 100, an international campaign to get those responsible in G20 countries (countries rich enough to take substantial action) to sign up to very specific pledges to protect our top 100 species or ecosystems that are falling by the political wayside.
The Guardian is hosting the campaign website. You can find the launch article there. In it Chapron and Monbiot describe the plight of the Pyrenean bear and the political reasons why more isn't being done to protect them, even though they are on the brink of extinction. They use the Pyrenean bears' plight as one example of how international agreements have failed to protect biodiversity; additionally, the bears' story serves as a catalyst for their new campaign:
The international agreements struck so far have failed miserably in halting the world's biodiversity crisis. Because biodiversity is even less amenable to vague international treaties than climate change, generalised targets are ill-suited to an issue that is all about specifics. The policies that really count need to be enforced at the national level: reintroducing more bears does not need a global agreement between major economies. All the international meetings have done so far is to diffuse responsibility for the crisis, allowing member states to hide behind each other's failures. They create a false impression of action, insulating governments from public pressure.
We don't accept this outcome, or the apathy and indifference with which governments are prepared to let another environmental calamity develop.
So today we are launching a new campaign, hosted by the Guardian, to put pressure on dithering governments. Rather than allowing them to hide behind generalities, with help from you and many of the world's top ecologists, we are compiling a list of 100 specific tasks that will demonstrate whether they are serious about defending the wonders of the natural world. Each will be targeted at a particular government, and they will be asked to sign up to it before the meeting in Nagoya.
We are asking governments to supplement the current treaty-making process with something real and specific, in such a way that success becomes possible and failure accountable. The campaign is called Biodiversity100.
Time is short, so our intention is to choose the 100 tasks within one month. We will be addressing the G20 countries, as their wealth and power deprives them of excuses for ducking their obligations. We are looking for actions that make a major contribution to protecting a particular species or ecosystem; that are strongly and widely supported by scientific evidence published in academic journals; but that are politically costly or opposed by special interest groups.
All these actions, in contrast to the vague political statements made at international meetings, will be concrete, specific and achievable in a reasonable timeframe: they might, for example, involve stopping a destructive industrial project, protecting the habitat of an endangered species, changing or passing a law, or reintroducing a population of animals or plants.
Please check out the campaign and submit your top 100 specific targets for authorities to sign up to prior to the international biodiversity summit in Japan in October. You can submit your ideas via a form on the Biodiversity 100 site - or, if preferred, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on biodiversity in the Worldchanging archives:
This event is important to constantly remind people that the the world's biodiversity is rapidly decreasing. a lot of animals are doomed to extinction. This event should help!
An important reminder that the the world's biodiversity is rapidly decreasing. a lot of animals are doomed to extinction. This event should help!