Montreal, 25 June 2015 – An average of 69% of respondents in nine countries say they have heard of biodiversity, but additional outreach efforts are needed for the world to reach global targets on biodiversity awareness set under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
According to IPSOS research conducted for the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) in 2015 among 9,000 persons in Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, UK and USA, biodiversity awareness is rising in general, with millennials showing a particularly high degree of awareness. However, the rate is not rising sufficiently quickly to make a difference to biodiversity conservation efforts.
“To reach the 2020 targets on biodiversity awareness, bolder awareness raising efforts are needed not only by governments, but also by businesses and others,” says Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the CBD, in response to the survey results. “As we come to the second half of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, let us all work together to reach out and increase understanding on biodiversity.”
Other important findings of the 2015 Biodiversity Barometer include:
• Between 2009 and 2015, biodiversity awareness grew from 56% to 64% in Germany, France, UK and USA. In Brazil, biodiversity awareness has fallen slightly since 2010.
• 87% of respondents believe it is important to personally contribute to biodiversity conservation. Interest is especially high (over 95%) in Latin America and India, and is growing in other countries.
• Young consumers that learn about biodiversity at school show the most awareness. The majority of youth (88%) personally want to contribute to biodiversity conservation, with one out of two believing it essential.
• Biodiversity is the term given to the variety of life on earth and the natural patterns it forms, but it is often confused with other concepts like organic agriculture, environmental protection, diversity of human races, climate change or environmentally-friendly products and technologies.
• Television, radio programs, newspapers, magazines and schools are quoted as being the main sources of biodiversity awareness.
• 83% of respondents expect companies to respect biodiversity, and want to be better informed on how biodiversity is conserved in their supply chains. Only 42% are confident that companies pay serious attention to biodiversity in their supply chains.
• In 2015, 36% of the top 100 beauty companies and 60% of food companies mention biodiversity in their reports or on their websites.
“To respond to consumer expectations, companies need to step up and improve their biodiversity reporting. In addition, more direct consumer communication on biodiversity is required to increase the trust of consumers,” says Rik Kutsch Lojenga, UEBT Executive Director.
A summary of the 2015 UEBT Biodiversity Barometer can be downloaded from the UEBT website: www.uebt.org