News Release

From words to action – key organizations team up to stop the extinction crisis

28 May 2013
Cheetahs in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Photo: IUCN Photo Library © Sue Mainka

With unprecedented species declines and more than 20,000 of the species assessed on The IUCN Red List threatened with extinction, IUCN and other organizations come together to support the achievement of a global biodiversity target to prevent further species loss.

The partnership – Friends of Target 12 – will guide countries in their efforts to prevent further extinctions of threatened species and improve the conservation status of those disappearing most rapidly. This will help them achieve the so-called ‘Target 12’ – one of 20 ‘Aichi Biodiversity Targets’ adopted under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Japan in 2010.

“Today, species are disappearing at unprecedented rates,” says Jane Smart, Global Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group. “However, we know that conservation works. We need to do much more of it and at a much larger scale. We hope that this partnership will provide the concerted action that we urgently need to secure the long term survival of species.”

The initiative aims to bring together the knowledge and experience of government institutions, intergovernmental, non-governmental and community-based organizations, academic and professional networks and private sector companies working to conserve species and ensure their sustainable use. It will offer practical advice to countries on how to better protect species, providing a common space for its partners to share and build on their previous conservation successes. Partners include key international conventions on biodiversity such as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Out of 65,518 species currently assessed by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, 1,173 are Extinct or Possibly Extinct and 20,219 are threatened. However, past conservation action led by some of the organizations that are now joining the initiative has brought many species back from the brink of extinction. Examples include the Nepal’s Greater One-horned Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), Brazil’s Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari), the Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx), the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) and the Przewalski’s Horse (Equus ferus) in Mongolia.

Lions in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Photo: IUCN Photo Library © Sue MainkaSome Friends of Target 12 partners have already made specific commitments as part of the initiative and more are soon to be announced.

IUCN, through The IUCN Red List and Species Survival Commission – a science-based network of almost 8,000 volunteer experts – will continue to provide information and analyses on the status, trends and threats to biodiversity in order to catalyze species conservation action.

The global species conservation fund SOS – Save Our Species, initiated by IUCN, Global Environment Facility and the World Bank will help governments and other institutions channel resources towards conserving threatened species.

“Many organizations and institutions around the world are contributing to the protection of species and are supporting the implementation of Target 12,” says Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary. “This partnership brings them together and enhances the support that we can provide to CBD Parties to finally move from words to implementation of the Aichi biodiversity targets.”

The partnership is officially supported by the CBD and currently has 21 partners.


For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media Relations
t +41 22 999 0346
m +41 79 856 76 26
ewa.magiera@iucn.org

David Ainsworth, CBD Information Officer
t +1 514 287 7025
m +1 514 561 2720
david.ainsworth@cbd.int


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