Loss of biodiversity is now a global concern. Although loss of species has always occurred as a natural phenomenon, the pace of extinction has accelerated dramatically as a result of human activity - at 50 - 100 times the natural rate. Globally thousands of species are facing extinction:
These extinctions are irreversible, and are the greatest extinction crisis since the disaster that possibly contributed to the loss of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. These extinctions can affect our food crops, medicines and our own future well-being.
At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders adopted the Convention on Biological Diversity. New Zealand ratified the Convention, and subsequently released the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2000. In supporting the Convention's vision, New Zealand also showed its support for international action to protect biodiversity.
More recently, a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including five goals and 20 Aichi biodiversity targets, have been adopted by United Nation members. The New Zealand Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-2020 translates these into national targets. Both the goals of the Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Strategy and the Action Plan are consistent with the Convention on Biological Diversity.
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