UNDP to Work With National Govts to Protect Biodiversity
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today unveiled a robust environmental strategy to address unprecedented levels of global biodiversity loss.

The new strategy - entitled 'The Future We Want: Biodiversity and Ecosystems -- Driving Sustainable Development' -- was released during the ongoing 11th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity here.

It calls for a significant scaling up of investments in 100 countries by 2020, UNDP said in a release.

As part of the plan, UNDP will work with national governments to protect biodiversity and manage ecosystems across 1.4 billion hectares of land and bodies of water, comparable to the area of Australia, India and Argentina combined, the release said.

"Human survival depends heavily on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, yet in recent decades, the world has experienced unprecedented biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, undermining the very foundations of life on earth," UN Under-Secretary General and UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan was quoted as saying in the release.

"As 1.2 billion people living in severe poverty depend directly on nature for their basic needs and livelihoods, this needs urgent international attention," she said.

A report by UNEP also noted that despite the growing number of nature reserves, national parks and other protected areas across the globe, half of the world's richest bio-diversity zones remain entirely unprotected.

The report was presented at the ongoing UN convention on biological diversity here today.

Two years ago, countries set a goal under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that by 2020 at least 17 per cent of the world's terrestrial areas and 10 per cent of marine areas would be equitably managed and conserved, a release issued by UNEP said.

The protected planet report 2012 says that protected areas have increased in number by almost 60 per cent, and in area by just under 50 per cent, since 1990.

But, poor management, under-funding and a lack of critical data on protected areas mean that the world is making insufficient progress towards the 2020 goals, the release added.
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