UN Millennium Development Goals Expand to Include Biodiversity

For the first time, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals is monitoring the world's plants and animals using the Red List Index developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN. Based on the comprehensive IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the index shows trends in the overall extinction risk for sets of species at global, regional and national levels.

Until now, the seventh Millennium Development Goal, to ensure environmental sustainability, has not included any mention of biodiversity or the need to save species as a critical contribution to human development.

But with the launch of the latest Annual Report on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, in advance of the High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals at UN Headquarters in New York on September 25, the goal now includes the aim to "significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010" as one of its targets.

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