Saving Nature Deadline

Charlotte Delaney


In 2010,  196 countries gathered in Japan to talk about goals to save nature. They set 20 goals and set a deadline for 2020. Even though we didn’t complete any, we particularly completed 6 of the goals. The average of the participating countries reported more than a third of national targets were on track to be met. Half of the nation’s targets were seeing slower progress, and 11% of targets show no scientific process and only 1% are moving in the wrong direction.

The six goals that were partially met are preventing invasive species, conserving protected areas, access to and sharing benefits from genetic resources, biodiversity strategies and action plans, sharing information, and mobilizing resources. A number of places have successfully put an end to invasive species. Some countries have introduced good fisheries management policies, which helped build back marine fish stocks that have been hit hard by overfishing and environmental degradation. Also, habitat loss and degradation remain high, especially in forests, tropical regions, wetlands, and rivers are fragmenting. Pollution is still rampant; with plastic still in our ocean, coral reefs are dying from all the plastic.

These lackluster efforts are reflected in our funding. Our government globally spends about $78-91 billion dollars a year on biodiversity efforts. Even areas that have made progress haven’t really made progress but we have significantly expanded the number of protected natural areas, both on land and in the sea. We have also introduced more conservation measures like restrictions on hunting and fishing, which have paid off.

We set goals 10 years ago and we still haven’t made any of those goals, but we have made progress in 6 of the goals.