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Assessing conservation costs in support of the CBD Strategic Plan

Implementing the newly agreed Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 will require substantial mobilization of financial resources, but inadequate information on the scale of both current (baseline) spending and unmet needs is seen as considerable impediment.

Under the Strategic Plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), world governments have committed to halting human-induced extinctions and safeguarding important sites for biodiversity by 2020. However, inadequate information on the scale of both current (baseline) spending on biodiversity conservation and unmet needs is seen as a major impediment to securing the necessary mobilization of financial resources.

This project aimed to address this gap by assessing the costs of delivering two key and urgent components of the Strategic Plan. Using data for birds the project assessed, for the first time, the costs of preventing extinctions (i.e.improving the conservation status of globally threatened species) and safeguarding (i.e. protecting and managing) a global network of key sites for biodiversity.

The results of the project also fed into the financing negotiations process at the CBD COP in Hyderabad, India in October 2012, on the magnitude of the financing needs for implementing the Strategic Plan.

This project was funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation.

Project Aims

This project aimed to address this gap so as to ensure that financing decisions are well informed by bringing together a range of expertise from across the CCI partnership. Specifically, it assessed the costs of conservation interventions aimed at delivering two key and urgent components of the Strategic Plan: preventing extinctions and improving the conservation status of known threatened species (Target 12) and safeguarding sites of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services (Target 11).

Key Activities

Building on data for birds, the best known class of organisms, this project assessed the costs of safeguarding a global network of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and conserving all known globally threatened species (as listed on the IUCN Red List). Cost data was collected for a representative sample of globally threatened birds and a sample of important sites for birds (Important Bird Areas [IBAs]), and used to model and extrapolate costs to all globally threatened species and important sites for biodiversity.

Conservation Impact

It is hoped that these results can help inform resource mobilization efforts in support of the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The results have been published in the high-impact academic journal Science and fed directly into the Report of the High-level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 launched at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD in Hyderabad, India (October 2012) . The results have recently been presented at a side event at COP11. The release of the results was given considerable media coverage in the both the UK and more widely. 

Outputs

CCI partners Involved

The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the specialist biodiversity assessment arm of the United Nations Environment Programme, the world’s foremost intergovernmental...
BirdLife International is a strategic global partnership of conservation organisations in over 100 countries, working to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, and to promote...
The Department of Zoology carries out wide-ranging work in ecology and conservation including conservation science, aquatic ecology, pathogen evolution and evolutionary ecology. Research of the...
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. It is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in...

Related Resources

Resource Title Description Type
Assessing the financial resources needed to implement the strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020 This is a final report from BirdLife International and other collaborators which looks at the financial resources needed for Targets 11 and 12 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. This policy report is... Working papers and reports, Policy briefs
Financial Costs of Meeting Global Biodiversity Conservation Targets: Current Spending and Unmet Needs This paper published in the journal Science (October 2012) provides robust estimates of the total and additional financing needed for achieving the Aichi Targets. World governments have committed to... Journal articles
Financial costs of “saving” globally threatened species and safeguarding important sites for biodiversity: Are current needs being met? CCI Collaborative Fund Seminar Series Inadequate information on the scale of current spending on biodiversity conservation and unmet needs is seen as a major impediment to securing the necessary mobilization of financial resources. Using... Talks and presentations, Video