But they clearly haven't worked too well. The problem, says Butchart, is that while there have been lots of plans on paper, "they have been inadequately targeted, implemented and funded". There are lots of protected areas, but they haven't been given enough money and are not in the most biologically important places. More than 80 per cent of governments have promised to tackle invasive alien species, but fewer than half have done anything.The report can be found in the April 29, 2010 issue of Science (PDF, 9 pages). And what does the report say? The factors leading to loss of biodiversity continue to trend upward, with no promise of slowing down. The major factors? They are as follows:
The majority of indicators of pressures on biodiversity show increasing trends over recent decades, with increases in: (i) aggregate human consumption of the planet’s ecological assets; (ii) deposition of reactive nitrogen; (iii) number of alien species in Europe; (iv) proportion of fish stocks over-harvested; and (v) impact of climate change on European bird population trends. In no case was there a significant reduction in the rate of increase ...They also mention habitat fragmentation and mentioned a pretty alarming trend there as well:
... 59% of large river systems are moderately or strongly fragmented by dams and reservoirs ...Fifty-nine percent? Ouch!
So what is their conclusion?
Our results show that, despite a few encouraging achievements, efforts to address the loss of biodiversity need to be substantially strengthened, by reversing detrimental policies, fully integrating biodiversity into broad-scale landuse planning, incorporating its economic value adequately into decision making, and sufficiently targeting, funding and implementing policies that tackle biodiversity loss, among other measures. Sustained investment in coherent global biodiversity monitoring and indicators is essential to track and improve the effectiveness of these responses.Let us hope that this report does not fall on deaf ears.