David Cooper

CBD Acting Executive Secretary

CBD_AES_David Cooper

This World Wildlife Day, we're focusing on digital innovation for wildlife conservation. More than ever, we are living in a digital world, and we must seize opportunities to make use of digital technologies and services to support wildlife conservation, sustainable and legal wildlife trade, and human-wildlife coexistence. From remote assessments, artificial intelligence in drones, to acoustic sensors, camera traps, and tracking tags, technology can be deployed to monitor and conserve wildlife. 

Sadly, over the past 50 years, the abundance of wild animal species has declined on average by around two thirds. This is driven by deforestation and other land use change, unsustainable fishing and harvesting practices, pollution, invasive alien species and diseases, and climate change. Without urgent action to address these drivers, over a million species face a high risk of extinction.

In December 2022, the global community agreed to take action by adopting the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also known as the biodiversity plan. Its four goals aim to protect and restore nature, to prosper with nature, to share benefits fairly and to invest and collaborate for nature.

Its mission is to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity this decade. The fourth goal to invest and collaborate aims to ensure access to and transfer of technology to implement the plan, especially for developing countries.

It is supported by Target 20 to strengthen capacity building, technology transfer, and scientific and technical cooperation for biodiversity. While the digital divide is slowly narrowing, women and girls are still more likely to experience gaps in digital training.

Target 23 of the biodiversity plan aims to ensure gender equality and a gender responsive approach for biodiversity action. We need to remember that the sustainable use of wild species is critical to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, and biodiversity is critical for humankind survival on this planet.

This World Wildlife Day and every day let us continue working for a sustainable, equitable future for all life on Earth.

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