Saturday, September 4, 2010

Protecting biodiversity one task at a time: have your say

The fact that the Earth is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis has been repeatedly acknowledged by world governments. The greatest pronouncement was is 2002 with the '2010 Biodiversity Target' where many of the largest economies signed a pledge to halt biodiversity loss by 2010. Yet it is now 2010 and species are continuing to go extinct and habitats are continuing to be destroyed or degraded. But it shouldn't be a surprise that non-binding governmental proclamations fail to produce substantial results. Yet the reality is that we need to do something, inaction only worsens the legacy of biological deficit for future generations.

Maybe the best way forward is not more international governmental summits, but rather focusing on small scale, achievable short term goal. Guillaume Chapron started the Biodiversity 100 campaign, hosted by the Guardian (see story here), which seeks out public and professional input into the 100 immediate and achievable projects or ideas that will help protect biodiversity. The idea is to be able to go to governments and international agencies with this list and get them to make specific pledges to carry out these tasks.

There is till time to participate! If you have an idea of an action to protect biodiversity, fill out the web form. There are already a plethora of great suggestions, from protecting specific habitats to stemming population growth. This list is important because it includes the voices of the international public citizenry and that of scientists. More than that though, there will be a concrete list of tasks (ranging from very local to very global) that citizen groups can use to sustain pressure on governments.