News Excerpt
The European Commission (EC) launched the Global Coalition ‘United for Biodiversity’ on world wildlife day.

About Coalition
•    2020 is declared a super year for nature and biodiversity.
•    Coalition seeks to build public awareness about the present biodiversity crisis and pursue the world to adopt a new global framework to take global action to protect as well as restore biodiversity.
•    The coalition would include zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, national parks, and natural history and science museums from worldwide. As these organisationsare vital for cataloguing and preserving the natural world, such institutions are indispensable and invaluable centres for education and mobilisation — particularly for young leaders and decision-makers of the future.
•    The coalition adopted a common pledge and appeals to visitors to each of their institutions to “raise their voice for nature.
•    Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), formed by the United Nations Environment Programme, welcomed the formation of the coalition.
•    The coalition formedahead of the crucial COP-15 of the Convention on Biological Diversityproposed to be held in China, October 2020.

IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)
    It is not a United Nations body. India has been its founding member since 2012.
    It is an independent intergovernmental body intended to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and sustainable development.
    IPBES currently has over 134 member States. A large number of NGOs, organizations, experts, academia and civil society groupings also participate in the formal IPBES process.
    The work of IPBES are grouped into four complementary areasi.e Assessment, Policy Support, Building Capacity & Knowledge and Communication and Outreach.

India & Biodiversity
    India is signatory of convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources.
    India has enacted the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystem, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and many others for not only the conservation but for the development of biodiversity.
    India has adopted national biodiversity target viz.-

    Target    Aichi Targets
National Biodiversity Target 1    By 2020, a significant proportion of the country's population, especially the youth, is aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.    1
National Biodiversity Target 2    By 2020, values of biodiversity are integrated in National and State planning processes, development programmes and poverty alleviation strategies.    2
National Biodiversity Target 3    Strategies for reducing the rate of degradation, fragmentation and loss of all-natural habitats are finalized and actions put in place by 2020 for environmental amelioration and human well-being.    5,15
National Biodiversity Target 4    By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and strategies to manage them developed so that populations of prioritized invasive alien species are managed.    9
National Biodiversity Target 5    By 2020, measures are adopted for sustainable management of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.    6, 7, 8
National Biodiversity Target 6    Ecologically representative areas on land and in inland waters, as well as coastal and marine zones, especially those of particular importance for species, biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved effectively and equitably, on the basis of PA designation and management and other area-based conservation measures and are integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes, covering over 20% of the geographic area of the country, by 2020.    10, 11, 12
National Biodiversity Target 7    By 2020, genetic diversity of cultivated plants, farm livestock and their wild relatives, including other socioeconomically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.    13
National Biodiversity Target 8    By 2020, ecosystem services, especially those relating to water, human health, livelihoods and wellbeing, are enumerated and measures to safeguard them are identified, taking into account the needs of women and local communities, particularly the poor and vulnerable sections.    14
National Biodiversity Target 9    By 2015, Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization as per the Nagoya Protocol are operational, consistent with national legislation.    16
National Biodiversity Target 10    By 2020, an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity action plan is made operational at different levels of governance.    3, 4, 17
National Biodiversity Target 11    By 2020, national initiatives using communities' traditional knowledge relating to biodiversity are strengthened, with a view to protecting this knowledge in accordance with national legislations and international obligations.    18
National Biodiversity Target 12    By 2020, opportunities to increase the availability of financial, human and technical resources to facilitate effective implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and the national targets are identified and the Strategy for Resource Mobilization is adopted.    19, 20

Significance of Biodiversity
    Biodiversity benefits the people in almost every aspect of human development and are key to the success of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
    Biodiversity helps to produce food, clean water, regulate climate and even control disease.
    Biodiversity is the key indicator of the health of an ecosystem. Biodiversity conservation is vital for economic growth and poverty reduction.
    Biodiversity conservation can help address the effects of climate change.  Conserving habitats can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Biodiversity is of great importance in order to maintain stable ecosystems. If there is a sudden change in that community’s environment, the balance of the community may change which may cause it to be destroyed.

Biodiversity is being depleted and degraded faster than at any other point in human history.  There is a dire need to conserve biodiversity by harnessing the best expertise from across all scientific disciplines and knowledge communities and to provide policy-relevant knowledge and to catalyze the implementation of knowledge-based policies at all levels in government, the private sector and civil society. The destruction of ecosystems can have a very serious effect both on local and global levels. Protection of the existence of living beings, Sustainability of resources, balance in natural processes and socio-economic development go simultaneously to biodiversity conservation. Such initiatives should include all stakeholders and address the emerging challenges.

CITES, WPA1972, TRAFFIC, Aichi Biodiversity Targets, National Biodiversity Authority