A decade-long global effort to save Earth’s disappearing species and declining ecosystems has mostly stumbled, with fragile habitats like coral reefs and tropical forests in more trouble than ever, researchers said in a report Tuesday.
In 2010, more than 150 countries agreed to goals to protect nature, but the new United Nations scorecard found that the world has largely failed to meet 20 different targets to safeguard species and ecosystems.
Six of those 20 goals were “partially achieved,” and the rest were not.
If this were a school and these were tests, the world has flunked, said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which released the report.
Inger Andersen, who leads the UN environment program, called it a global failure.
“From COVID-19 to massive wildfires, floods, melting glaciers and unprecedented heat, our failure to meet the Aichi (biodiversity) targets — protect our our home — has very real consequences,” Andersen said. “We can no longer afford to cast nature to the side.”
In a Tuesday interview with The Associated Press, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon connected the problems to “a lack of global partnership and political leadership.” He said multilateralism has been under attack, citing the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement as an example.