Focus |

Global biodiversity policy post-2020

Biodiversity is being lost globally, at devastating rates. The 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity will finalise a global biodiversity conservation framework for 2020-2050. The negotiations must result in ambitious yet workable targets that protect and restore nature, while equitably and sustainably sharing nature’s contributions to people. This Collection of research and opinion articles from Nature Ecology & Evolution and Nature Sustainability speak to the goal-setting process and the scientific underpinnings of effective biodiversity conservation.



Divergent conceptions of living nature between conservationists and other groups of people can hinder progress to protect biodiversity. This Perspective reflects on the use of the concept of biodiversity, willingness to expand its ambit, and engagement with the various drivers of change.

Perspective | | Nature Sustainability

This Perspective uses a social–ecological systems framework to make recommendations for global targets that capture the interdependencies of biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainable development to inform the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 process and the future of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Perspective | | Nature Ecology & Evolution


Using the Biodiversity Finance Initiative methodology, the authors assess the extent and effectiveness of biodiversity investment across different economies. Larger economies invest more in absolute terms and proportional to GDP but invest less once GDP is controlled for, and all biodiversity variables correlated positively with investment.

Article | | Nature Ecology & Evolution

In response to continuing habitat and biodiversity loss, leading conservationists have proposed setting aside half the earth for nature. This study evaluates the trade-offs with food production and finds losses in croplands, pasture and calories that vary with the conservation strategy.

Brief Communication | | Nature Sustainability

While regional and planetary biodiversity is suffering from numerous crises, conservation movements have struggled with how to respond. At this inflection point for conservation, over 9,000 conservationists are surveyed to analyse their views and how these are predicted by their characteristics.

Article | | Nature Sustainability


The development of the post-2020 strategic plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity provides a vital window of opportunity to set out an ambitious plan of action to restore global biodiversity. The components of such a plan, including its goal, targets and some metrics, already exist and provide a roadmap to 2050.

Comment | | Nature Sustainability

Biodiversity research is replete with scientific studies depicting future trajectories of decline that have failed to mobilize transformative change. Imagination and creativity can foster new ways to address longstanding problems to create better futures for people and the planet.

Comment | | Nature Sustainability

Much research and policy effort is being expended on ways to conserve living nature while enabling the economic and social development needed to increase equity and end poverty. We propose this will only be possible if policy shifts away from conservation targets that focus on avoiding losses towards processes that consider net outcomes for biodiversity.

Comment | | Nature Ecology & Evolution

Nationwide citizen science data show the importance of farmland outside protected areas for China’s avifauna. We urge the government of China to develop a national strategy for policy and research to protect biodiversity and traditional knowledge of sustainable agriculture to meet the post-2020 goal of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Comment | | Nature Ecology & Evolution

Regulations designed to prevent global inequalities in the use of genetic resources apply to both commercial and non-commercial research. Conflating the two may have unintended consequences for collaboration between the Global North and biodiverse countries in the Global South, which may promote global injustice rather than mitigate it.

Comment | | Nature Ecology & Evolution