In a sudden display of urgency and anxiety the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity has announced that it is targeting zero deforestation in the ASEAN region by 2020. It has correlated the recent food crisis to the loss of biodiversity in the region and has recommended strong measures to rectify the same.The top executives and scientists are now discussing the roadmap for the future. They are looking at a quick action plan till 2010 because the next global conference is scheduled for 2010 in Tokyo.
Coming to the recent food crisis, it is worth mentioning that the situation has worsened to the extent of fueling food riots in several developing countries! Lot of countries are now banning exports or cutting taxes to keep it under control but it is needless to say that these are not permanent solutions. Although the oil prices have taken the center stage, we need to note that the outbreak of a pest attack in Vietnam, the third largest rice exporter in world has played a major role in this crisis. The epidemic has also spread to other rice producing neighbors like Thailand which has drastically reduced the supply. You can read this article for some more insights into the matter. Now these sudden pest attacks can be attributed to the imbalance in the ecosystem. As we all know, extinction of certain species does lead to the over growth of some other.
The richness of the South East Asian biodiversity can be gauged from the fact that they cover some 3% of the World’s surface area while they contain 20% of the species! But these numbers are dwindling fast and the time has come for some concrete action. Even the coral reefs in the region are also facing degradation due to the fishing practices and coral bleaching. But still with due sincerity and proper planning if we are able to reverse the trend of deforestation, we can still have a greener, safer and healthier planet by 2020.