Wednesday, November 13, 2013

LifeWeb launches Zero Extinction Campaign to combat species extinctions

Montreal, 13 November 2013 – To focus attention on the global extinction crises and advance implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the LifeWeb initiative of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is launching the Zero Extinction Campaign. The Zero Extinction Campaign, officially unveiled at the seventeenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice in Montreal on 15 October 2013, aims to provide countries with a platform to profile their financial needs to prevent species extinctions and achieve related targets as a key accomplishment in the effort to stem biodiversity loss.

“The Zero Extinction Campaign facilitates partnerships between public and private donors and developing countries that require financial assistance, thus providing these countries with the financial means to address the critical issue of species extinction,” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary. "Stopping species extinction is one of the key goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011- 2020, agreed by 193 countries in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010.”

As part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Parties agreed to an explicit objective, Aichi Biodiversity Target 12, to prevent extinction of known threatened species. The Zero Extinction Campaign is in line with achieving Aichi Target 12: “by 2020, the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.”

Presently one-third of global species assessed for threat are in danger of extinction. This phenomenon is thought to represent the sixth major extinction event on Earth and poses a major threat to the Earth’s biodiversity, which is crucial for maintaining properly functioning ecosystems. The Zero Extinction Campaign profiles biodiversity conservation projects and their financial needs at sites where endangered or critically endangered species are found.
Sample project activities that a country might propose and seek funding for under the Campaign include:
- Gazetting and protecting areas that represent the last remaining refuge of an endangered or critically endangered species
- Working with local communities to develop alternative livelihoods in situations where species protection conflicts with sustainability
- Eradicating an invasive alien species
- Strengthening law enforcement to reduce threats to threatened species
- Mobilizing educational programmes for local communities to reduce threats.

“The LifeWeb Zero Extinction Campaign makes the essential link between donor countries and project implementers that can be the difference in halting species extinctions. While the extinction crisis is real, it can be solved when dedicated people use good science and proven methodologies to save species. That’s what this campaign is for,” said Mike Parr, Vice President for Program Development at American Bird Conservancy and Chair of the Alliance for Zero Extinction.

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