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Pollution

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Aichi Biodiversity Target Eight – Pollution – focuses on the reduction of pollution. It states: By 2020, pollution, including from excess nutrients, has been brought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity. 

Pollution, especially in the form of excess nitrogen and phosphorus, is a major cause of loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem functioning, especially in wetland, coastal and dryland areas. Excessive nutrients from sewage and agricultural runoff can also cause dead zones, with severe losses of biodiversity and impairment of ecosystem services. Reducing pollution to non-harmful levels is critical to ensuring the long-term maintenance of key ecosystem services. To achieve Target Eight, countries will need to assess the extent, severity and distribution of point and non-point sources of pollution and gauge the impact of this pollution on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. They will also need to develop appropriate responses, such as strengthening national water quality standards, reducing subsidies on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, increasing riparian and coastal buffer zones, and developing wastewater treatment facilities. 

Target 8 indicators may include status and trends in:

  • Pollution emissions, deposition rate, and ozone levels
  • Extents of hypoxic zones and algal blooms
  • Levels of contaminants in wildlife
  • Water quality in aquatic ecosystems

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