Originally published in Science Express on 29 April 2010
Science 28 May 2010:
Vol. 328. no. 5982, pp. 1164 – 1168
Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines
Stuart H. M. Butchart,* Matt Walpole, Ben Collen [et al.]
In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We examinated the result from 31 measures to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species’ population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.