To celebrate the launch of the International Year of Biodiversity on 11 January, the European Environment Agency (EEA) is commencing a series of concise, thematic assessments of biodiversity. The first of these '10 messages for 2010' presents the interaction between climate change and biodiversity.
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. In coming months, therefore, the EU and the rest of the international community will be striving to identify a post-2010 policy framework to be agreed in Nagoya, Japan, in October.
Much has changed in our understanding of biodiversity since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and Europe's commitment in 2001. The more we understand the complex interdependence of species and habitats and its importance, the greater is the urgency to act.
'We know that market prices need to reflect the full value of the benefits that we obtain from healthy ecosystems as well as the true costs of using them. This means that we need to understand the role of biodiversity in sustaining ecosystems and the policies that are effective in conserving and protecting different habitats and species from local to global levels,' said Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of EEA.
The EEA's '10 messages for 2010' will highlight one theme per month until the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October. The first message on climate change and biodiversity will be followed by others on themes such as protected areas and the marine environment