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Biodiversity Goals and Countries Fail to Meet Their Goals

Dec 12, 2022

Biodiversity Goals and Countries Failure to Meet Them

Enhance your UPSC CSE preparation with our daily dose of Current Affairs wherein we discuss topics that make news at National and International level.

 In today's edition of our Current Affairs, we will discuss Biodiversity Goals and Countries’ Failure to Meet Them. The topic's relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: Environment and Ecology 

Aichi targets, Convention on Biological Diversity, Rio Earth Summit, Biological diversity.

For Mains: GS Paper III

About Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), About Aichi Targets, Progress under Aichi Targets, Failure of the Aichi Targets.


Recently Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from 196 countries are meeting in Montreal, Canada, with a special focus on a new global agreement after the failure to meet Aichi targets.

Probable Question

Why have countries failed to meet their biodiversity goals, under the Aichi biodiversity targets? (150 words, 10 marks)

About Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • Formation: CBD is signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, to promote sustainable development
  • Effective The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. 
  • Objective: It has 3 main objectives:
    • The conservation of biological diversity.
    • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.
    • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
  • In the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in 2010, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
  • This plan provided an overarching framework on biodiversity and focused on the implementation of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

About Aichi Targets

  • Formation: The Aichi Targets, were adopted during the 2010 CBD summit in Nagoya, located in Japan’s Aichi prefecture.
  • Duration: It is for the period from 2011 to 2020.
  • Goals: The targets included 20 goals to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.
  • Expectations from nations: After parties adopted the Aichi Targets, nations were expected to devise their own national biodiversity strategies that would mimic the goals laid out by Aichi. 
  • Implementation: Nearly all parties created these strategies, but most were never fully implemented.
About Aichi Targets - Biodiversity

Global Progress under Aichi Targets

  • The targets have made some progress at the national level in several countries.
  • The most notable Aichi objective aimed to protect or conserve 17% of all land and inland waters and 10% of the ocean by the end of the decade. Currently, about 15% of the world’s land and 8% of ocean territories are under some form of protection.
  • Six targets, including the land and ocean conservation target, were deemed “partially achieved”. While 10% of the targets saw no significant progress.
  • In the end, Aichi was deemed a failure by the United Nations and the CBD secretariat.

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Linear Projects and Wildlife

Reasons for the failure of Aichi Targets

  • Unclear goals: A lack of clearly defined metrics by which to gauge progress made the Aichi goals tough to implement.
  • Monitoring and reporting success: It is another big issue with Aichi. Countries largely failed to update others on the progress they were or were not making.
  • Ineffective Framework: Many of the targets, included vague language and did not hold countries to a specific action, making the framework ineffective.
  • A lack of financing: It is the need for developing countries to meet the Aichi goals was also an obstacle to their success.
  • Relying: The Aichi Targets also failed to garner buy-in from governments beyond the environmental ministers who brokered the deal. 

India’s progress towards Biodiversity goals

  • India submitted its Sixth National Report (NR6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2018.
  • The NR6 provides an update on progress in the achievement of 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBT) developed under the Convention process in line with the 20 global Aichi biodiversity targets.  
  • The Report highlights that while India has exceeded/overachieved two NBTs, it is on track to achieve eight NBTs and in respect of the remaining two NBTs also, India is striving to meet the targets by the stipulated time of 2020.     
  • India with well over 20% of its total geographical area under biodiversity conservation, has exceeded the terrestrial component of 17% of Aichi target 11, and 20% of corresponding NBT relating to areas under biodiversity management. 
  • India has also made noteworthy achievements towards NBT relating to access and benefit sharing (ABS) by operationalizing the Nagoya Protocol on ABS.   

Related: World Sparrow Day

India Moves to Save the Dolphin: National Dolphin Day

Forests and Climate Change

Way Forward

  • CBD secretariat has called on parties to come up with another guiding document to direct conservation efforts through 2030 and beyond.
  • Many of the 24 conservation targets under discussion at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) aim to avoid past mistakes (made during Aichi targets) and improve on the world’s last set of conservation goals.
  • There is a need for the participation of the whole of the government, beneficiaries, and the common man, which will help in achieving the targets fully.


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