April 30, 2010 - 22:33 AMT 17:33 GMT

World leaders have failed to deliver commitments made in 2002 to
reduce the global rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, says the statement
received by PanARMENIAN.Net from Armenian Society for the Protection of
Birds (ASPB). These findings are the result of a new paper published in
the leading journal Science and represent the first assessment of how
the targets made through the 2002 Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD) have not been met.

"Our analysis shows that governments have failed to deliver on the
commitments they made in 2002: biodiversity is still being lost as fast
as ever, and we have made little headway in reducing the pressures on
species, habitats and ecosystems", said Dr Stuart Butchart, of the
United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring
Centre and BirdLife International, and the paper's lead author.

"Our data show that 2010 will not be the year that biodiversity loss
was halted, but it needs to be the year in which we start taking the
issue seriously and substantially increase our efforts to take care
of what is left of our planet."

The indicators measuring different aspects of biodiversity were
developed and synthesised through the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators
Partnership - a collaboration of over 40 international organisations
and agencies developing global biodiversity indicators and the leading
source of information on trends in global biodiversity.

"Since 1970, we have reduced animal populations by 30%, the area of
mangroves and sea grasses by 20% and the coverage of living corals by
40%", said the United Nations Environment Programme's Chief Scientist
Prof Joseph Alcamo.

The results from this study feed into Global Biodiversity Outlook 3,
the flagship publication of the CBD, to be released in Nairobi on May
10th, when government representatives from around the world will meet
to discuss the 2010 target and how to address the biodiversity crisis.

"Although nations have put in place some significant policies to
slow biodiversity declines, these have been woefully inadequate,
and the gap between the pressures on biodiversity and the responses
is getting ever wider", said Dr Butchart.

The study recognised that there have been some important local or
national successes in tackling biodiversity loss, including the
designation of many protected areas (e.g. the 62,000 ha Lake Arpi
National Park in Armenia), the recovery of particular species (e.g.

Corncrake) and the prevention of some extinctions (e.g. Caucasian

But despite these encouraging achievements, efforts to address the
loss of biodiversity need to be substantially strengthened.

"Biodiversity concerns must be integrated across all parts of
government and business, and the economic value of biodiversity needs
to be accounted for adequately in decision making. Only then will
we be able to address the problem", said Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive
Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity.