Home > Activities > GTOS Biodiversity Initiative

Biodiversity loss: the 2010 Target
Working with the international community towards achieving Target 2010

Biodiversity loss: the 2010 Target

In 2002, the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) committed “to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth.” Such a target – known as Target 2010 – was later endorsed in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

Mid-way to 2010, progress towards Target 2010 is being assessed through the identification of sub-targets and indicators. As explained in the Biodiversity Synthesis Report of the Millennium Ecosystems Assessment, it is unlikely that the Target will be achieved at the global level for all the components of biodiversity.

However, the international community is working cohesively towards reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. GTOS is contributing to this effort through the identification of products and services that will assist in determining progress towards Target 2010. GTOS, through its GOFC-GOLD panel on land cover change, can make particular contributions in relation to the extent, fragmentation and connectivity of ecosystems and habitats.

Mapping progress towards Target 2010

The role of a GTOS initiative on biodiversity was presented at a side event during the 11th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-11) of CBD. The event emphasized the potential for GTOS to promote synergy among the Rio Conventions and Biodiversity-Related Conventions through activities involving, inter alia, Coastal-GTOS, GOFC-GOLD and TCO.

GTOS has also been working towards clarifying methodological issues related to land cover dynamics and land use, and their application to the management of protected areas by taking into account the work undertaken within GOFC-GOLD, the Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) and the regional and national training activities of the Global Land Cover Network (GLCN).

While the topic of biodiversity loss has been in the GTOS mandate since its inception, neither Panels nor Initiatives have to date focused specifically on biodiversity, but the next biennium should see the establishment of the first building blocks of a GTOS Initiative for biodiversity observations at the global scale.


The Biodiversity GTOS Initiative (B-GTOS) is an outcome of the work by GTOS in assessing the needs of the global biodiversity community in achieving Target 2010, within the framework of Biodiversity-Related Conventions (CBD; Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals CMS; the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; and the World Heritage Convention) and related multilateral environmental agreements.

B-GTOS will be launched in 2006 by convening an expert team. Their mission will be to develop an implementation plan that defines the GTOS biodiversity observation system. It will describe, inter alia, opportunities for integration of geospatial data and process-level ecology information. Among the first activities to be implemented are expected to be an enhancement of TEMS functionality with respect to biodiversity, by integrating it with the EcoPort Database.

To the top of the page.

© FAO   ::   Global Terrestrial Observing System - GTOS   ::   15 January 2007