Factbox: U.N. draft plan to protect animals, plants by 2020

Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:46am EDT
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(Reuters) - A U.N. summit on Wednesday will consider new 2020 targets for combating the increasing extinction of animals and plants caused by threats such as pollution, climate change and forest clearance.

The United Nations says the world has failed to reach a goal, set in 2002, of a "significant reduction" in biodiversity losses by 2010. Some U.N. studies say the world is facing the worst losses since the dinosaurs vanished 65 million years ago.

And a quickening pace of extinctions could disrupt food and water supplies for a rising human population.

The world leaders' meeting on biodiversity at U.N. headquarters in New York, at the end of a three-day summit, is a prelude to U.N. talks in Japan in October due to agree a formal 20-point plan to protect biodiversity by 2020.

Following are details of the draft plan:


Some nations, such as those in the European Union, want to set a 2020 deadline "to halt the loss of biodiversity," a target many experts say is out of reach. Poor countries say such a goal would require a 100-fold increase in funds for safeguarding biodiversity, currently about $3 billion a year. An alternative is to set no firm deadline, merely talking of action by 2020 "toward halting" loss of plant and animal species.

Nations agree on a 2020 deadline for reducing pressures on biodiversity and to avoid irreversible "tipping points," such as an acidification of the oceans that would make it hard for creatures such as crabs or oysters to build their shells.

20-POINT PLAN:   Continued...