GENEVA, SWITZERLAND– On May 22, the Day of Biological Diversity, during the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010, Friends of the Earth International will warn that biodiversity continues to be lost at an unprecedented rate and that forest-dependent peoples, fishing communities and the poor are suffering the consequences the most.

The rate at which biodiversity is being lost increases daily. Since 1970, the global animal population has reduced by 30%, mangrove forests and marine pastures by 20%, and living coral reefs by 40%, according to a recent joint report by the UN and the Cambridge University [1].

38% of all assessed species are under imminent threat, and of 15 indicators for biodiversity loss, 9 are still deteriorating, while only 2 are improving [2].

An EU-wide assessment of key species showed that only 17% were in a favourable conservation status despite protection [3].

Friends of the Earth International calls on all governments to not only comply with goals and targets they agreed upon under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) but also to strengthen biodiversity policy, adopt ambitious targets at the global level, and start acting immediately.

2010 will not be remembered as the year when biodiversity loss was stopped, but it could be a turning point for biodiversity policy.

Friedrich Wulf, Friends of the Earth Europe’s biodiversity expert said:

“Every human being is affected by biodiversity loss in one way or another. Biodiversity is critical for sustaining life on Earth. Communities that depend on forests and jungles, and their biodiversity, are already experiencing the destruction of their habitats and livelihoods due to biodiversity loss. These communities hold collective rights and traditional knowledge that must be respected.”.

Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International forest and biodiversity program coordinator from Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world said:

“The structural causes of biodiversity loss must be addressed. If we don’t address the root causes, biodiversity and life on Earth will disappear at an even quicker rate. Biodiversity is being destroyed by the expansion of oil and mining developments, plantations and agribusiness projects.”

“At the same time free trade and investment agreements and market based mechanisms as well as the WTO and some UN bodies help multinational corporations to privatize biodiversity for their own profits. This process contributes to biodiversity loss and is a real threat to rural and indigenous communities as they loose their natural resources.”

“In my country, Costa Rica, President Arias scandalously declared gold-mining a public-interest activity, at the expense of biodiversity. Destructive businesses such as large scale mining have severe impacts on people and biodiversity and should be opposed,” added Isaac Rojas.



Isaac Rojas, Friends of the Earth International Forest and Biodiversity Program coordinator – Email: or Tel: + 598 2604 2840 or + 598 9962 1591

Friedrich Wulf, Friends of the Earth Europe Head of International Biodiversity Policy– Tel: +41 613 179 242 or +49 176 853 22510 (mobile)



[1] Information on this report is available here

[2] This report – Global biodiversity outlook 3 – is available at:

[3] This report is available at