In 2002 the Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 (GBO 2) report of the Convention on Biological Diversity set eleven targets for reducing the loss of biodiversity. The 2010 Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 report (GBO 3) noted that none of the targets had been met. Despite a rising public awareness of conservation and rising responses to the threats, biodiversity losses continued. Failure to meet the GBO 2 targets was put down to focusing on proximate threats and remedial measures, such as protected areas and species survival, rather than underlying causes of loss. The underlying causes stem from a failure to value and deliver the benefits of ecosystem services. GBO 3 also noted that conservation action seldom matches the scale of threat. The 10th Conference of Parties to the CBD recommended reaching out to decisionmakers to embed biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services in the development agenda: the link between biodiversity and ecosystem services must be clearly demonstrated.

As shown in the last chapter on Valuing Nature, The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (TEEB) methodology shows that sound policies, public engagement and a full valuation of ecosystem services, backed by market incentives, can reduce biodiversity loss and improve human health and wellbeing. TEEB emphasizes the economic benefits of avoiding rather than repairing environmental damage. For example, worldwide forest loss and degradation presently run between $2 to 4.5 trillion in terms of economic losses. Preventing the loss can be achieved at $45 billion, a 100:1 return on expenditure (TEEB, 2010). GBO 3 calls for conserving biodiversity and sustaining development through new initiatives, which cover public communications; redressing the indirect causes of overuse; restoring habitats and ecosystems; raising the efficiency of natural resource use; sustaining ecosystem services, and encouraging local initiatives.

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