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The Conference of Parities (COP) 11 of the Conference of Biological Diversity (CBD) is an opportunity for the world to re-examine the state of the world. It is unfortunate that the rate of known global biodiversity loss according to UNDP (2012) is between 0.015% and 0.1% species per year (approximately 200 to 2000 species per year) which is still alarming and shows no signs of abating. After 10 to 11 meetings, surely countries must ACT before signing any more treaties. And of those who refuse to sign – well, we know they are the exploiters.
It is unfortunate that the term Biodiversity – or Biological Diversity – is still barely understood. The educator cannot be blamed for, as priorities change, so do terminologies. First it was Nature Education, teaching youth to appreciate habitats and wildlife. With increasing pollution, it became Environmental Education. Then, exploitation of natural resources increased exponentially and the term changed to Education for Sustainable Development. The three have totally different meanings in different contexts and the progression from Nature to Development is a clear indication that the world has decided to abandon Nature for Development.
In this context, Biological Diversity becomes extremely important. How can we preserve it? Sustainable Development is a fraudulent term – development means massive change and cannot be sustainable.
Conservation of Biological Diversity in this fast–changing era is possible only if forests and unique habitats are left untouched. This needs political will and honesty, and the world needs to rapidly change direction. Unfortunately, fast-growing populations, the greed to acquire more and the desire to conspicuous consumption make this a non-starter.
So, will the CBD remain a good resolution on paper? Only time will tell.