Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
Target 1 - By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
Addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss requires behavioural change by individuals (e.g., to reduce waste or consumption) and by governments (e.g., to change regulations or incentives). Understanding, awareness and appreciation of the diverse values of biodiversity, are necessary to underpin the ability and willingness of individuals to make such changes and to create the “political will” for governments to act. 2
Nearly all Parties indicate in their fourth national reports that they are undertaking actions related to education and public awareness, however further efforts are needed to increase overall public awareness of the various values of biodiversity. The target covers the three objectives of the Convention. Implementation:
Learning occurs in formal contexts of learning, such as in schools and universities, as well as in informal contexts, such as through the guidance of elders regarding the natural environment, as well as in museums and parks, and through films, television and literature. Learning also occurs through participation in events, communication materials, and other opportunities for information exchange between stakeholders. Where possible, awareness and learning about biodiversity should be linked to and mainstreamed into the principles and messages of education for sustainable development. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) could be one key partner in carrying out work towards this target. The key audiences for such communication, education and public awareness activities will vary between Parties, but generally could focus on regional agencies, national and local governments, business, non-governmental organizations and civil society groups. In addition to promoting awareness, information campaigns can promote behavioural change and concrete actions. The Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) programme is the main instrument under the Convention for this target. Indicators and baseline information:
Possible indicators could include: the number of visits to natural history museums, zoos, botanical gardens, protected areas, and parks; the number of school biodiversity education programmes or officially accredited teaching materials; volunteer participation in relevant activities; the number of activities carried out by indigenous peoples, local communities and local citizen groups; and the development and use of lists of recommended actions for citizens, the private sector, and other stakeholders. As a secondary step, the impact of public awareness campaigns could be monitored through surveys of awareness and attitudes, such as the eurobarometer survey conducted in 2007 which provides a baseline for the European region. Other possible indicators could include the number of biodiversity related news articles published in national newspapers as well as changes in the demand for environmentally friendly products.
Possible milestones for this target include:
- By 2011, basic public awareness campaigns about biodiversity and the steps people can take to protect it are initiated;
- By 2014, national baseline surveys are carried out and comprehensive national strategies to promote awareness of the values of biodiversity are prepared and adopted;
- By 2016, relevant educational curricula have been developed and implemented.
Miller, JR (2005). Biodiversity conservation and the extinction of experience. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 20(8), 430-434. 3
Balmford, A et al. (2009). A Global Perspective on Trends in Nature-Based Tourism. PLoS Biol, 7(6).