Living in harmony with nature by 2050 is the goal of a new set of global biodiversity targets to be achieved between 2020 – 2030, targets which the Pacific islands will also be committed to reaching.
To help halt the loss of biodiversity, Pacific islands came together with over 190 countries to develop the 2020 Aichi Global Biodiversity Targets in 2010. These are 20 global targets to be achieved between 2011 – 2020 that were agreed upon to help make a positive difference for our planet and people.
This week in Samoa, Pacific islands came together to review how they did and to look at the next steps – what happens after 2020 – Known as the “Post 2020 Framework,” parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that signed up to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, are now looking at what they will commit to from 2021 onwards to help reduce biodiversity loss.
In October this year all Parties to the CBD will spend two weeks to discuss the new global targets which are being proposed in the zero draft of the CBD Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and will be the focus of several preparatory meetings over this course of this year.
“This week it is about the Pacific islands maximising their conservation voice in the post 2020 framework,” said Dr. Peter Davies, Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Adviser with the Island and Ocean Ecosystems Programme at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The workshop also reviewed the proposed Global Target of 100 percent Integrated and Sustainable Ocean Management. The perspective of Pacific nations on expanding protected areas to 30 percent, from the current 20 percent, was a potential goal for the workshop.
“The Pacific islands region leads the world when it comes to Marine Protected Areas and collectively they have exceeded Aichi Target 11 which commits to at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas being conserved effectively.,” said Dr. Davies.
The rapid loss of species is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. For the Pacific island region this loss threatens island economies and livelihoods - healthy live animals bring value to the region such as the multi-million dollar shark viewing tourism industry in some Pacific islands.
“Let’s take this opportunity to review our biodiversity targets to reflect the radical and transformative change upon which the survival of our species, and all species on this plant depends,” encouraged Ms Jacqueline Evans, the 2019 Award Recipient of a Goldman Environmental Award a scientific adviser supported by Pew Charitable Trusts to the workshop.
Over the course of four days the workshop participants examined the current Aichi Targets, or requirements from a CBD supplementary agreement, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 14 targets. They discussed how pursuing these goals involve the development of national policies, and actions, on conservation.
The 30 by 30 Marine Protected Areas Target and Post 2020 Framework is held in Apia, Samoa from 3 – 6 February, 2020. A partnership between SPREP and the Pew Charitable Trusts the workshop brings together participants from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu as well as the IUCN.
The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is held in Noumea, New Caledonia from April 19 – 24, 2020. Conference registration is now open at https://www.pacificnatureconference.com/