Walpole reading for Lecture 23

Summary of required reading for Lecture 23: "Tracking Progress Toward the 2010 Biodiversity Target and Beyond" by Walpole et al

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD - signed by 190 countries- the US is not yet a party) pledges to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 (2010 is International Year of Biological Diversity).

The UN Millenium Development Goals also incorporated this goal (basically, this is kind of a big deal).

But how will we know? How can we measure this on a global level?

CBD has adopted a "framework of 22 cross-disciplinary headline indicators with which to measure progress toward the target at a global level."

So they have a framework. Basically they have 22 titles of indicators that they want to measure. But they are severely underdeveloped and will not provide significant feedback for 2010.

No one is working on 5 of them. The rest are divided into 29 different measures. Only 9 of these measures are well-developed.

In order for a measure to be "well-developed", it must have:

- established methodologies
- reasonable global coverage
- sufficient time-series data

What must be done:

- the framework must be revised (it will be in October, 2010)
- the authors propose a simpler framework with four focal areas:

  • pressures-threats
  • status-trends
  • benefits-services
  • actions-responses

- an indicator of how climate change affects biodiversity must be added
- continued investment in developing the indicators, and quality-control efforts
- "scientific community must engage and encourage governments in this regard"

We need to be able to measure biodiversity if we're to save it!

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