The bold commitment made by the world’s governments to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 will soon be tested. On the basis of the continuing declines measured by most indicators, it now seems inevitable that the outcome will be that it has not been achieved. Here, in order to build on the momentum created by the 2010 target, we propose a shift away from a large set of static targets towards a smaller number of specific targets. Specifically, we present three categories of targets (red, green and blue) with examples of each. These relate respectively to (1) those biodiversity outcomes that must be avoided to avert situations that are deleterious for people, (2) the highly valued biodiversity conservation priorities, and (3) an improved scientific understanding necessary for adaptive management now and into the future.
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