Co leads of the Genetic Composition Working Group, Sean Hoban and Maggie Hunter led 31 authors from 18 countries on a publication to Biological Conservation. This paper (open access here) contains commentary and recommended changes to the Convention on Biological Diversity draft post 2020 framework, to ensure all aspects of biodiversity are conserved, with an emphasis on adaptation and resilience. The article proposes a new genetic diversity Goal, Action Target, and three new indicators that are practical and have data available now. For decades, global genetic biodiversity goals have focused on agrobiodiversity (e.g. crops), and the CBD 0.5 draft still does not explicitly state the importance of genetic diversity in all species, nor does it propose indicators for genetic diversity in wild species aside from wild relatives. We suggest new and pragmatic but ambitious focus on genetic diversity, adaptive capacity, and resilience in all wild species as well as domestic. Species long term survival as well as ecosystem resilience depends on genetic diversity, which will ultimately impact society and livelihoods.
Also the group made extensive outreach efforts on these CBD suggestions. They created a multi language two page policy brief (click here) summarizing the article, for planned distribution to focal contacts in the CBD planning process, currently translated into at least seven languages. They also hosted a webinar for CBD focal points at which nearly 40 participants from some 20 countries attended. A follow up webinar for the Americas will be held in early October. They also worked with multiple countries, the IUCN and GEO BON to provide feedback on the recent CBD request for peer review comments on the zero draft (published online click here), and participated in recent virtual SBSTTA sessions. The group remains committed to providing necessary expertise to ensure all three levels of biodiversity- genes, species, ecosystems- are sufficiently conserved for the future of life on Earth.