By Ana María Carvajal
The research carried out by seven scientists was published on November 26, and is an evaluation of the performance of the countries in fulfilling their responsibilities in terms of biodiversity compared to the number of species that exist in each country.
It is based on data obtained and processed by the IUCN Red List between 1980 and 2008, and focuses exclusively on vertebrate animals, mainly mammals, birds and amphibians. Ecuador is on the list, which is focused on accompanying countries in their actions to improve ecosystem conditions, to protect species at risk of extinction.
Under this criterion, in the study on the state of global conservation of vertebrates, the importance of implementing projects on eradicating invasive species, promoting biosecurity, sustaining an adequate management of protected areas and restoring ecosystems has been emphasized, since they are effective in terms of conservation.
However, through a statement from the international organization, Simon Stuart, president of the Species Survival Commission, clarifies that Colombia and Ecuador appear with negative values in the Red List Index, “in part, because they are countries megadiverse with a high number of species and that inevitably have more threatened species, compared to many others ”.
In fact, Ecuador is part of a list of 17 countries where about 70% of all the biodiversity on the planet lives. The importance of this study lies in that it provides information on conservation mechanisms based on public policies to conserve the habitat of the species.
However, according to IUCN, there are situations that are beyond the scope of this type of intervention, such as diseases that affect some types of vertebrates and that are the cause of their endangered status. Ecuador's Minister of the Environment, Lorena Tapia, sent a statement explaining that the country works through the National System of Protected Areas to care for and protect endangered species.
In addition, there are other initiatives such as the promotion of reforestation with native species through programs such as Socio Bosque or the Forest Restoration program, in more fragile ecosystems. The goal is "to cancel the estimated deforestation rate until 2017." As part of these plans, the Ministry of the Environment has projected the sowing of 500,000 hectares until 2017.
The official also highlights the discovery of an amphibian of the Andinophryne olallaique species, which had not been seen for 42 years and was believed to be extinct, but which was recently registered in Imbabura.
The IUCN accompanies the countries that appear on the Red List, not only in the case of vertebrates but also of all types of species, in works aimed at complying with the Aichi Goal 12, which seeks to prevent the extinction of species that have been cataloged in danger of disappearing.
This is part of 20 goals for biodiversity, grouped into five strategic objectives until 2020, which were established in Japan at the 10th Conference of the Parties.
This agreement seeks to seek mechanisms that protect biodiversity and the environment, as a contribution to the eradication of poverty. IUCN has held workshops with countries like Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina or Uruguay, for example.
In addition, it has provided support to the country to produce red books (species at risk) specifically in the case of mammals and birds. Countries on the red list should invest in long-term conservation, said Stuart Butchart of BirdLife International and one of the study researchers.