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Biodiversity targets for the future

Following COP 10, scientists will meet again in So Paulo at the international conference Getting Post-2010 Biodiversity Targets Right to discuss how to monitor new biodiversity conservation targets. The goal of the conference is to establish important new science-based targets for the conservation of biodiversity, as well as mechanisms to monitor the implementation of targets.

The event is organized by the Biota-FAPESP, the So Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Program aimed at discovering, mapping and analyzing biodiversity, the Academia Brasileira de Cincias (ABC, Brazilian Academy of Sciences), and the Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Cincia (SBPC, Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science).

The international conference will bring together some of the key players who took part in the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10), which ended on November 29, 2010, in Nagoya, Japan.

"These researchers are being brought together again less than a month after COP 10, at which signatory nations of the Convention on Biological Diversity signed an ambitious agreement to conserve biodiversity and guarantee that its benefits are shared in a fair and equitable fashion," said Carlos Alfredo Joly, a full professor at the Instituto de Biologia da Universidade Estadual de Campinas (IB-Unicamp, Institute of Biology of the State University at Campinas) and organizer of the event.

Ahmed Djoglaf, general secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, will deliver the opening keynote address at meeting. Mr. Djoglaf oversaw the negotiations at the Nagoya meeting.

The next morning, Maximiliano da Cunha Henriques Arienzo, sub-chief of the Environment Division of the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations (also known as Itamaraty), will deliver a report on COP 10 and on the progress being made toward the creation of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Mr. Arienzo led the Brazilian delegation sent to Nagoya and served as its chief negotiator.

The participants will then discuss issues related to the interoperability of biodiversity information systems, new techniques for studying the biodiversity of microorganisms, and modeling tools employing the indicators, parameters, and metrics used in monitoring the conservation or loss of biodiversity. On the final day, the conference will turn its focus to the Atlantic Forest.

Four main subjects will be presented and debated during the following event symposia: National and International Interoperability Among Biodiversity Information Systems; Metagenomics as a Tool to Assess Micro-Biodiversity; Post-2010 Biodiversity Targets: Ecosystem and Evosystem Services; and Impacts of Local & Global Changes on the Atlantic Rainforest.

Fees to register on or before December 3, 2010 are, in Brazilian reals (R$), R$250 for professionals, professors, researchers, and postdoctoral scholars; R$150 for students.

Scientific importance of the conference

As was made clear during COP 10, the organizers of Getting Post-2010 Biodiversity Targets Right stress that neither the 2010 global targets for biodiversity nor the Brazilian biodiversity targets for 2010 have been met.

According to the organizers, the failure to meet the targets was partly due to the fact that significant reductions in biodiversity loss rates cannot be detected through the use of the scientific methods currently available. Another problem is that it can take decades, or even centuries, for the impact of biodiversity conservation measures to become evident.

It is also well known that the effects of most of the primary drivers of biodiversity lossland-use change, climate change, pollution, and invasive specieshave increased since the targets were established in 2001.

In view of this, the meeting organizers believe that establishing new targets is a fundamentally important and urgent goal. New targets should be both measurable and science-based, including objective and specific actions capable of engaging governments at the national, regional, and global level with a proposal that, compared to earlier approaches, is nothing short of radical.


Contact: Fernando Cunha
Fundao de Amparo Pesquisa do Estado de So Paulo

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