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Biodiversity 100: An Update on the Campaign
Alison Killing, 21 Oct 10

Editor's Note: We reported on the launch of the Biodiversity 100 campaign in August. Now Alison Killing has an update on their efforts and how their work coincides with the biodiversity summit currently taking place in Nagoya, Japan.


(composite screenshot of header from Convention on Biological Diversity)


A lot of concerns have been raised about the vagueness of the targets in the Nagoya biodiversity summit's proposed declarations, as well as concern over the likelihood that a weak action plan will do little to prevent further biodiversity loss, or indeed reverse the rate of loss. Several NGOs, WWF amongst them, have called on the governments at the summit to set more ambitious goals and devote the resources needed to better coordinate their projects across state lines, since ecosystems generally aren't delineated by national borders. WWF seeks to influence overarching policy commitments now (particularly on setting up Protected Areas), while also working with governments after the summit to help them meet those commitments. This is important work, carried out over several years.

The Biodiversity 100 campaign asks for something more urgent and hopes to overcome some of the limitations of the incredibly slow process of creating and implementing international treaties. There simply isn't time to waste in preventing further biodiversity loss. Even if a clear agreement that sets strong, measurable targets emerges from the summit, further time would be required later to work out how it should be implemented at a national level. Biodiversity 100 requests that specific governments around the world take immediate action to save specific species and describes in some detail what steps need to be taken in each case. It allows the work to begin now

Letters detailing these actions have been sent to the respective governments, hoping to spur them into action:

  • In Europe, the UK is asked to restore bee populations, Turkey to better water management systems, and France to preserve the habitat for bears in the Pyrenees.
  • In the Americas, forest preservation features prominently in requested actions.
  • In Asia, China is asked to update its wildlife protection laws, Indonesia to preserve its coastline, and South Korea to scale down its dam building project in the Four Rivers area.
  • Australia is asked to restrict the sale of invasive plants and animals, and to restore the natural water flows in its fresh water systems, with an eye on Murray-Darling river basin especially.

The campaign proposals came out of a crowd sourcing effort, where readers of the website were asked to submit their ideas, with the criteria that they must 'make a major contribution to the safeguard of a particular endangered species or area; be politically costly to implement or strongly opposed by some interest; be strongly and widely supported by scientific evidence'. The campaign is still open for proposals. A large number of ideas have been received and so far, the campaign has elected to work on 26 of the proposed actions.


Alison Killing is an architect and urbanist based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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