Biodiversity Lost at Unprecedented Rate

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International
Forest and Biodiversity Program coordinator –
Email: isaac@coecoceiba.org or
Tel: + 598 2604 2840  (in Uruguay)

Friedrich Wulf, Friends of the Earth Europe
Head of International Biodiversity Policy–
Tel: +41 613 179 242

Biodiversity Lost at Unprecedented Rate

On the Upcoming Day of biodiversity Friends of the Earth International Calls for Urgent Action to Tackle Biodiversity Loss

GENEVA - On May 22, the Day of Biological Diversity, during the International
Year of Biodiversity, 2010, Friends of the Earth International warned
that biodiversity continues to be lost at an unprecedented rate and
that forest-dependent peoples, fishing communities and the poor are
suffering the consequences the most.

The rate at which biodiversity is being lost increases daily. Since
1970, the global animal population has reduced by 30%, mangrove forests
and marine pastures by 20%, and living coral reefs by 40%, according to
a recent joint report by the UN and the Cambridge University [1].

38% of all assessed species are under imminent threat, and of 15
indicators for biodiversity loss, 9 are still deteriorating, while only
2 are improving [2].

An EU-wide assessment of key species showed that only 17% were in a favourable conservation status despite protection [3].

Friends of the Earth International calls on all governments to not only
comply with goals and targets they agreed upon under the UN Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD) but also to strengthen biodiversity
policy, adopt ambitious targets at the global level, and start acting
immediately.

2010 will not be remembered as the year when biodiversity loss was
stopped, but it could be a turning point for biodiversity policy.

Friedrich Wulf, Friends of the Earth Europe's biodiversity expert said:
“Every human being is affected by biodiversity loss in one way or
another. Biodiversity is critical for sustaining life on Earth.
Communities that depend on forests and jungles, and their biodiversity,
are already experiencing the destruction of their habitats and
livelihoods due to biodiversity loss. These communities hold collective
rights and traditional knowledge that must be respected.”.

Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International forest and biodiversity
program coordinator from Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse
countries in the world said:

“The structural causes of biodiversity loss must be addressed. If we
don’t address the root causes, biodiversity and life on Earth will
disappear at an even quicker rate. Biodiversity is being destroyed by
the expansion of oil and mining developments, plantations and
agribusiness projects.”

“At the same time free trade and investment agreements and market based
mechanisms as well as the WTO and some UN bodies help multinational
corporations to privatize biodiversity for their own profits. This
process contributes to biodiversity loss and is a real threat to rural
and indigenous communities as they loose their natural resources.”

“In my country, Costa Rica, President Arias scandalously declared
gold-mining a public-interest activity, at the expense of biodiversity.
Destructive businesses such as large scale mining have severe impacts
on people and biodiversity and should be opposed,” added Isaac Rojas.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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