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Last updated at 09:50 BST, Tuesday, 04 May 2010

Environmental protection targets missed


3 May 2010

A major study has confirmed that the world's governments will not meet their internationally-agreed target of reducing the global loss of species and nature by 2010.

Richard Black

A Sumatran Tiger


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This study confirms what people in the conservation movement have known for several years; the 2010 target of significantly curbing the rate of biodiversity loss is not going to be met.

The researchers surveyed more than 30 trends covering wildlife on land and at sea. Virtually all of them show increasing degradation, with the evidence especially strong since the 1970s.

The reasons are straightforward; an ever-increasing number of people on the planet and rising affluence, leading to increased demand for food and timber and water and energy. As the human footprint expands, nature is squeezed to the margins.

Governments set the 2010 target eight years ago; the researchers describe actions taken since then in order to meet it as "woefully inadequate".

Richard Black, BBC Environment Correspondent


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the conservation movement

groups and organisations that work to protect the environment

significantly curbing

reducing by a large amount

the rate of biodiversity loss

the speed at which different plants and animals are dying out


patterns of change and development

increasing degradation

the situation is getting worse, not better


simple and uncomplicated

rising affluence

getting materially richer


wood from trees used for building

the human footprint

the impact and space that people take up on the Earth

woefully inadequate

very far from being appropriate or enough

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