30 June 2017

A holistic global strategic plan to include Antarctica's biodiversity

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), provides the framework for curbing biodiversity loss by 2020. It consists of five strategic goals interspersed with 20 targets known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targetsacting as a flexible framework for addressing national needs, priorities, and progress. 

Biodiversity and conservation state of the Antarctica and Southern Ocean (which cover 10% of the planet's surface), however, has not been evaluated against the Strategic Plan
a clear gap if a holistic global biodiversity assessment is aimed by 2020. Providing an analysis of the region will generate a true representative of the state of global biodiversity; it will also allow the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) to compare conservation progress in the region with that being made globally. 

Scientists led by Steven Chown, together with Sea Around Us Senior Scientist and SeaLifeBase Project Coordinator Maria Lourdes Palomares and others, filled in the gap using empirical evidence, expert knowledge, and general guidelines for conducting biodiversity assessments. 

Fig 1. Progress for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean against the Aichi target elements compared with the Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 (Accessed from Chown_etal2017, PLOS Biology).  

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean biodiversity prospects for 2020 (and beyond to 2050), surprisingly, are at par or similar to those for the rest of the planet.  Still, a lot can be done to improve the state in the region through support from the government, industry, and public, creation of new tools, and an integrated biodiversity strategy and action plan.

Access the full article published in PLOS Biology: 

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us.