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Japan suggests a ‘Biodiversity Decade’

Japan, the host nation for the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit in October, has suggested adding a few more years to the UN’s awareness-raising efforts on the biodiversity crisis. Instead of having the International Year of Biodiversity conclude after this December, Japan says it will propose making 2010-2019 the International Decade of Biodiversity.

The announcement comes after a new UN report shows that biodiversity continues to decline worldwide threatening to ‘tip’ entire ecosystems such as coral reefs, the Amazon, and freshwater bodies. The report outlines how governments have missed their goal of 2010 to stem biodiversity loss.

“We want to promote the work (on preserving biodiversity) at the United Nations as a whole, including the United States, which is not party to the (biodiversity) convention,” Japan’s Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa said last Friday according to The Mainichi Daily News.

Climate change, deforestation, habitat destruction, pollution, over-consumption of resources, invasive species, ocean acidification, poaching, bushmeat, overfishing, sprawl, dams, and mining are just some of the causes behind the global decline in biodiversity, which many scientists say will end in a mass extinction that rivaled the dinosaurs’.

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World failing on every environmental issue: an op-ed for Earth Day

(04/22/2010) The biodiversity crisis, the climate crisis, the deforestation crisis: we are living in an age when environmental issues have moved from regional problems to global ones. A generation or two before ours and one might speak of saving the beauty of Northern California; conserving a single species—say the white rhino—from extinction; or preserving an ecological region like the Amazon. That was a different age. Today we speak of preserving world biodiversity, of saving the ‘lungs of the planet’, of mitigating global climate change. No longer are humans over-reaching in just one region, but we are overreaching the whole planet, stretching ecological systems to a breaking point. While we are aware of the issues that threaten the well-being of life on this planet, including our own, how are we progressing on solutions?

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