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Global Biodiversity Outlook 3

Biodiversity in 2010
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Overview
The 2010 biodiversity target has not been met at the global level. None of the twenty-one sub-targets accompanying the overall target of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 can be said definitively to have been achieved globally, although some have been partially or locally achieved. Despite an increase in conservation efforts, the state of biodiversity continues to decline, according to most indicators, largely because the pressures on biodiversity continue to increase. There is no indication of a significant reduction in the rate of decline in biodiversity, nor of a significant reduction in pressures upon it. However, negative trends have been slowed or reversed in some ecosystems. There are several indications that responses to biodiversity loss are increasing and improving, although not yet on a scale sufficient to affect overall negative trends in the state of biodiversity or the pressures upon it.
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Species populations and extinction risks
The population of wild vertebrate species fell by an average of nearly one- third (31%) globally between 1970 and 2006, with the decline especially severe in the tropics (59%) and in freshwater ecosystems (41%).
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Terrestrial ecosystems
Tropical forests continue to be lost at a rapid rate, although deforestation has recently slowed in some countries. Net loss of forests has slowed substantially in the past decade, largely due to forest expansion in temperate regions.
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Inland water ecosystems
Inland water ecosystems have been dramatically altered in recent decades. Wetlands throughout the world have been and continue to be lost at a rapid rate.
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Marine and coastal ecosystems
Coastal habitats such as mangroves, seagrass beds, salt marshes and shellfish reefs continue to decline in extent, threatening highly valuable ecosystem services including the removal of significant quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; but there has been some slowing in the rate of loss of mangrove forests, except in Asia.
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Genetic diversity
Genetic diversity is being lost in natural ecosystems and in systems of crop and livestock production. Important progress is being made to conserve plant genetic diversity, especially using ex situ seed banks.
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Current pressures on biodiversity and responses
The persistence and in some cases intensification of the five principal pressures on biodiversity provide more evidence that the rate of biodiversity loss is not being significantly reduced. The overwhelming majority of governments reporting to the CBD cite these pressures or direct drivers as affecting biodiversity in their countries.
They are:
· Habitat loss and degradation

· Climate change

· Excessive nutrient load and other forms of pollution

· Over-exploitation and unsustainable use

· Invasive alien species
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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme