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Assessing the costs of saving the world’s biodiversity

12 Oct 2012

A new CCI collaborative study reveals that it will cost at least US $80 billion each year to meet the targets agreed by world leaders in 2010 to conserve the world’s biodiversity. The project, funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation was carried out by CCI partner organisations BirdLife International, RSPB, UNEP-WCMC and the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge.

The study, just published in Science (McCarthy et al, Oct 11, 2012) used data for birds – the best known class of organisms – to estimate the costs of meeting conservation targets for all nature. It estimated that the costs of reducing the extinction risk of all globally threatened bird species is US$0.88-1.23 billion annually over the next decade, yet currently only 12% of this funding is available.

The study has stressed that in order to deliver the key and urgent components of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan – improving the conservation status of globally threatened species and protecting important sites for biodiversity – there needs to be a rapid and substantial scaling up of investments in biodiversity conservation. In addition, the paper points out that governments also need to resolve the challenge of the current mismatch between the higher resources available in richer countries and the higher conservation needs of biodiversity-rich, but financially, poor countries.

The results of the study are also being presented and discussed at the current CBD Conference of the Parties meeting in Hyderabad, India which is focusing on resource mobilisation and the setting of goals in order to achieve the 2020 biodiversity targets.

For further information see here and here.