Posted: December 13, 2010, 5:15 p.m. PST
Representatives of 193 countries that met in Nagoya, Japan, at the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), agreed to halt global species extinctions through a zero-tolerance target for species loss. This decision was adopted along with a new, more ambitious strategic plan to halt biodiversity loss by 2020.
A tool that will be used in the effort to achieve this goal is a new Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZ) map that pinpoints 587 single sites where 920 of the world’s most endangered wildlife species are located. Countries can use the AZE map data to identify key sites where extinction mitigation measures can target the last critical populations of severely threatened species.
The governmental representatives are optimistic that by 2020 the extinction of known threatened species can be prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, can be improved and sustained.
AZ was formed in 2000 to further efforts to prevent imminent species extinctions by identifying and safeguarding the places where species included on “Red List of Threatened Species” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are restricted to single remaining sites. To date, AZ has identified sites for mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers, and reef-building corals, providing a tool to defend against many of the most predictable species losses.
Several mega-biodiversity nations are already using AZ to successfully address species extinctions, including Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. To learn more about the Alliance for Zero Extinction, and identify sites in each country, go to the Zero Extinction website.