Climate Change

A “safety net” at the service of biodiversity

26 October 2020 | Written by La redazione

In Science, a new contribution highlights the need for a multiple approach to set achievable goals in 2030 and 2050 by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity

The alarm on the protection of biodiversity starts from afar and it has already been possible to draw up a balance – unfortunately not positive – on the objectives that the UN Convention on Biological Diversity had set for 2020. Failure to achieve the expected goals imposed on the scientific community a reflection in view of the Convention of the Parties scheduled for May 2021 which will have the task of setting the Agenda for 2030 and 2050.


New objectives for the protection of biodiversity. Hence, the study by 60 researchers from 27 countries now published in the prestigious journal Science with the title “Set ambitious goals for biodiversity and sustainability”. The team, of which Carlo Rondinini of the Department of Biology and Biotechnology Charles Darwin of Sapienza is part, has drawn the scientific basis to redesign the objectives on biodiversity, starting from a careful analysis of what has emerged and circulated so far just in view of the operational appointment under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The work does not express a judgment on the individual segments that are being sketched out and which will become the future Goals: it does however set, on the basis of scientific evaluations, the scenario within which to balance the actions.


The complexity of nature. “The starting point is that nature itself is connected in its parts and we must take this into account – explains Carlo Rondinini. What sense would an ambitious goal have on the protection of species that did not take into account the protection of the ecosystem? The effort we have made is precisely in establishing with a scientific method how the objectives reinforce or weaken each other, producing a concrete tool, a toolkit, for the international negotiators who will be around the table to set future objectives ” .


The report. The result of the shared research is a complete, independent, scientifically grounded and unprecedented evaluation report, conducted through the lens of three main considerations: there is an explicit risk in fixing the outline and level of a single action unrelated to the others ; the objectives must be multiple, coherent and assumed with a holistic approach; in setting each objective, feasibility must be considered, but at the same time not renouncing to be ambitious, otherwise it will not be possible to trigger a fruitful countertrend on the issue of biodiversity in 2050.

“The study provides the scientific basis for distinguishing between low and high impact objectives and a real check list that ensures a balance – continues Rondinini. “Among others, he points to the targeted restoration of ecosystems, the minimal loss of species and the conservation of 90% of genetic diversity as incisive”.

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