Faced with the challenge of achieving the first goal of the Aichi agreement — creating a global awareness of the issue of biodiversity — Mexico has reached a benchmark of 90 percent awareness on the subject.
This was revealed by a recent survey on the understanding of biodiversity given to 1,000 Mexicans, and that is based on the “Biodiversity Barometer of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) 2015.”
At a press conference, the director general of international cooperation and implementation at the National Commission for the Understanding and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio), Hesiquio Benítez, stressed that while 90 percent of respondents said they were aware of the term, only 46 percent were able to define it.
This revealed that even when there is more awareness of the topic in the country, the challenge of deepening the understanding still exists, and therefore there must be more concrete actions to achieve this. According to the survey, awareness of the issue in Mexico was at similar levels to that of Brazil or European countries, which is seen as a major breakthrough.
“These results should not cause us to be complacent, and the goals set in the Aichi agreement have not all been met. We are only halfway there and the deadline is 2020,” Benitez said.
He acknowledged that one of the factors that will have helped this increase in awareness is increased media presence of the subject, mainly on television and radio, as well as in schools, on websites, blogs, and in social media.
The survey also reveals that a greater awareness of the issue lies with young people between the ages of 16 and 24, most of whom expressed interest in participating and helping conservation as a guaranteed way of generating wealth and prosperity in the country.
The study also reveals that 96 percent of respondents want to personally contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and 67 percent believe that taking action is paramount. In addition, 69 percent considered it important that companies respect biodiversity and 95 percent want to be better informed about the conservation of biodiversity in the supply chain of goods and services.
The representative of the UEBT in America, Cristiane de Moraes, stressed the importance of developing such a barometer of Biodiversity.
2015 UEBT Biodiversity Barometer shows additional efforts needed to reach UN targets on biodiversity awareness
Montreal, 25 June 2015 – An average of 69% of respondents in nine countries say they have heard of biodiversity, but additional outreach efforts are needed for the world to reach global targets on biodiversity awareness set under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). According to IPSOS research conducted for the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) in 2015 among 9,000 persons in Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, UK and USA, biodiversity awareness is rising in general, with millennials showing a particularly high degree of awareness.
However, the rate is not rising sufficiently quickly to make a difference to biodiversity conservation efforts. “To reach the 2020 targets on biodiversity awareness, bolder awareness raising efforts are needed not only by governments, but also by businesses and others,” says Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the CBD, in response to the survey results. “As we come to the second half of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, let us all work together to reach out and increase understanding on biodiversity.” Other important findings of the 2015 Biodiversity Barometer include:
• Between 2009 and 2015, biodiversity awareness grew from 56% to 64% in Germany, France, UK and USA. In Brazil, biodiversity awareness has fallen slightly since 2010.
• 87% of respondents believe it is important to personally contribute to biodiversity conservation. Interest is especially high (over 95%) in Latin America and India, and is growing in other countries.
• Young consumers that learn about biodiversity at school show the most awareness. The majority of youth (88%) personally want to contribute to biodiversity conservation, with one out of two believing it essential.
• Biodiversity is the term given to the variety of life on earth and the natural patterns it forms, but it is often confused with other concepts like organic agriculture, environmental protection, diversity of human races, climate change or environmentally-friendly products and technologies.
• Television, radio programs, newspapers, magazines and schools are quoted as being the main sources of biodiversity awareness.
• 83% of respondents expect companies to respect biodiversity, and want to be better informed on how biodiversity is conserved in their supply chains. Only 42% are confident that companies pay serious attention to biodiversity in their supply chains.
• In 2015, 36% of the top 100 beauty companies and 60% of food companies mention biodiversity in their reports or on their websites.
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