Biodiversity year comes to end, the challenge remains
Biodiversity embraces the variety of genes, species and ecosystems that constitute life on Earth. Despite a global pledge to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss significantly by 2010 and a European commitment to halt it altogether, the steady decline continues. The consequences for the natural world and for human wellbeing are profound.
The European Environment Agency produced a series of outputs throughout the International Year of Biodiversity in order to raise awareness and to provide policy makers with appropriate tools needed for designing and implementing biodiversity policies after 2010.
- The Agency's report ‘Assessing biodiversity in Europe – the 2010 report’ considers the status and trends of Pan-European biodiversity in a range of ecosystems, and the implications of these trends for biodiversity management policy and practice. It makes use of "Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity Indicators" (SEBI 2010) as well as other relevant national and regional information sources.
- The EEA's '10 messages for 2010' highlighted one theme per month until the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October, in Nagoya. The first message on climate change and biodiversity was followed by others on themes such as protected areas and the marine environment.
- Policy makers need a 'baseline' – a starting point for comparisons representing the current state of biodiversity – to measure trends in biodiversity, and consequently the effectiveness of policies. Building on its work on biodiversity indicators SEBI 2010, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission first presented an outline of the EU biodiversity baseline in June, followed by a technical report in October. The baseline supports the EU in developing the post‑2010 sub‑targets and provides data for measuring and monitoring progress in the EU from 2011 to 2020.
The year 2011 was declared by the United Nations to be the International Year of Forests.