The decade will highlight the value of biodiversity to all our lives and build on the success of the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) during 2010.
The aim of the IYB was to celebrate life on Earth, to highlight the value of biodiversity to our lives and to call for a renewed effort to safeguard the variety of life. It was celebrated around the globe by 146 countries using 29 languages. As the year drew to an end, world governments agreed a 10-year plan to protect our natural resources for the future. Read a summary of what the UK partnership for IYB achieved during 2010.
In addition to new conservation targets agreed for the next decade, several global and national initiatives will help to conserve our living heritage.
A new Intergovernmental Science Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – IPBES – will form a global response to tackling biodiversity loss. The new body will bridge the gulf between the wealth of scientific knowledge on the losses and degradation of the natural world, and knowledge of effective solutions and decisive government action required to reverse these damaging trends.
The Rio+20 summit will be held in Rio de Janeiro from 4–6 June 2012. It aims to make progress towards global sustainable development.
Rio +20 is taking place twenty years after the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, a milestone in bringing to public attention the importance of conservation and sustainable management of the Earth’s natural resources.
Biodiversity in the UK
Here in the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is publishing a new White Paper on the natural environment in June 2011. The revised biodiversity policy will include new conservation targets agreed in Japan at the COP10, and take into consideration over 15,000 responses received during the public consultation period. The UK National Ecosystem Assessment and the England Biodiversity Strategy are also due to be published in June 2011.
The government is also exploring biodiversity offsetting. The Big Tree Plant is encouraging people to plant more trees in urban and residential areas over next 5 years.