We are rapidly losing Earth’s wild species and wild spaces, with global vertebrate populations set to decline by two-thirds by 2020. Under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have pledged to protect, at least 17% of land and freshwater and 10% of our oceans by 2020. The plan focuses on areas of importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services in systems of effective, equitable, and ecologically connected protected and conserved areas. Beyond these milestone targets,
conservationists, scientists, and policymakers are grappling with the question of how much space needs to be conserved—and how—in order to sustain humans and the rest of life on earth? Over the next few years, governments will be reviewing the current Strategic Plan and considering a new strategy to meet the vision of conserving biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services and a healthy planet for all by 2050, as part of the wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As part of the process to develop a post-2020 strategy, this symposium will bring together international scientists, conservation practitioners, policy-makers, business leaders, civil society and donors to:
– review the science informing future area-based conservation targets;
– evaluate the implications of various policy options;
– provide balanced, evidence-based recommendations to Parties to the CBD and other policy processes; and
– raise awareness of the need for a more ambitious, holistic, and effective strategy to safeguard space for nature, incorporating protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
The symposium will complement and integrate the work of other groups reviewing this issue, such as the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force. The outputs of the meeting will feed into post-2020 negotiations in the run up to the CBD’s 14th Conference of the Parties and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development of the UN’s Economic and Social Council later in 2018 and will help to ensure that nature conservation is at the heart of sustainable development.
This symposium will be hosted by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and National Geographic Society (NGS), in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), BirdLife International/RSPB, UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD).
Further details: www.zsl.org/spacefornaturesymposium