UNs green agency hails setting of measurable goals in fight for biodiversity

Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, said the action by 187 countries attending the forum means governments will be able to accurately monitor whether they are making real progress in protecting species faced with extinction.The two-week conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which ended on Friday, agreed to conserve at least 10 per cent of each ecosystem, stabilize populations of certain declining species and ensure that international trade does not endanger any species of wild flora or fauna.These measurable targets have been introduced, according to UNEP, because biodiversity is notoriously difficult to quantify. For example, while 1.75 million different specifies of all kinds have been scientifically identified, some estimates say the real total is as high as 14 million.The Convention was established at the so-called “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. The target for reducing biodiversity loss was called for at a previous conference of ministers and at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, both in 2002.Delegates to the Kuala Lumpur conference also agreed to begin talks on how to craft a global system for access to genetic resources – such as plants that could be used to produce new pharmaceuticals or cosmetic products – and benefit-sharing. read more