In 2010, 196 nations agreed to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which contained 20 targets that were to be met by 2020. However, 2020 is here and not a single one of those goals has been met according to the Global Biodiversity Outlook Report.
Currently, the loss of biodiversity is at an unprecedented level in the history of Earth. In just the last 50 years over two-thirds of wildlife populations have disappeared. And this rate of loss might get even worse if climate conditions continue.
What makes matters worse is that the 20 targets could easily be broken up into 60 smaller goals. While some progress was made, it was an overall failure for the world.
Out of the 20 targets, 13 of them had no progress made or they have become worse.
One example of this is habitat loss and destruction of the environment. This is particularly bad in tropical regions, where illegal logging and wildfires threaten everything.
An equally important failure is in our oceans. Plastic pollution has escalated and pesticides are running off more frequently into the water. As a result, sea life is suffering, with Coral Reefs on the verge of extinction.
The report found that one reason these targets failed was due to funding. Across all countries, humanity spends only $78-91 billion dollars every year to meet these targets. In reality, we need hundreds of billions of dollars to succeed.
For reference, this is less than 1% of the global GDP.
Some Biodiversity Progress Has Been Made
While the majority of the information was negative, there is some good. It is important to mention that some of the targets did have significant progress.
One such improvement comes from new fishery management policies. This helps fish populations recover from years of overfishing. Although there is progress, additional effort is key.
Deforestation is still a huge problem for the world, and the global deforestation rate is declining. In fact, according to the report, it has fallen by a third. However, while the average is falling, some places are getting worse, like Brazil.
Another big win was the removal of invasive species. While there are still many examples of them, like the infamous Asian Carp, still exist, a lot of progress has been made.