Thursday, July 5, 2012

Biodiversity Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5)

The fifth edition of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) was published on June 6, 2012. This United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report indicates there are major issues related to biodiversity. The world failed to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Around 20 per cent of vertebrate species are under threat. The extinction risk is increasing faster for corals than for any other group of living organisms, with the condition of coral reefs declining by 38 per cent since 1980. Rapid contraction is projected by 2050.

In the field of pharmaceuticals, ten countries own 90 per cent of patents related to marine biodiversity.

With more than 30 per cent of the Earth‘s land surface used for agricultural production, some natural habitats have been shrinking by more than 20 per cent since the 1980s. However, there has been some progress in terms of policy responses, such as increasing the coverage of protected areas and sharing access and benefits of genetic resources.

The Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing of genetic resources - due to enter into force in 2015 - is unprecedented in its recognition of the rights of indigenous and local communities to regulate access to traditional knowledge in accordance with their customary laws and procedures.

The full report (pdf) is downloadable here.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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