In the middle of the world’s 6th great extinction, it is hard to find a lot of positive news on biodiversity and saving species — we currently have a rate of extinction the world has not seen since dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. However, at the end of the Convention of Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan this last weekend, environment ministers from every country of the world except Andorra (population 83,000) and the United States came to some historic agreements and are passionate about moving forward like never before to preserve biodiversity across the planet.

“Nearly 200 nations agreed on Saturday to a sweeping plan to stem the loss of species by setting new 2020 targets to ensure greater protection of nature and enshrine the benefits it gives mankind,” Reuters reported.

Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira, a strong force promoting action on this critical issue, said in the end, “The protocol is really, really a victory.”

Greenpeace, which is normally critical of such agreements even when others are happy with them, was even quite thrilled with the progress made in Nagoya. “This isn’t a boring protocol. It will regulate billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry,” said Tove Ryding, policy adviser for biodiversity and climate change for Greenpeace.

These nations also apparently made progress on addressing these issues while also helping the poor.

“We finally have something that is going to give great results for the environment, for the poor people,” Karl Falkenberg, head of the European Commission’s environment department, said.

Let’s hope we see more success like this in the near future and the agreements these nations came to are implemented as committed.

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Photo Credit: European Parliament via flickr (CC license)