In 2010, environment ministers from 196 nations gathered in Nagoya, a city in the Japanese prefecture of Aichi, with a clear and unambiguous aim: to arrest the worst decline in biodiversity on Earth since the extinction of the dinosaurs. The resulting international agreement was hailed as an environmental triumph.

But a decade on, the promise of Aichi has remained largely unfulfilled. As heads of state from around the world convene for the UN Summit on Biodiversity this week, this time must be different.

The Biodiversity Convention agreed in Aichi seemed to be a landmark moment. It established a framework for international cooperation on biodiversity issues and set ambitious global targets for reducing the destruction of habitats, expanding nature and marine reserves and preserving endangered species. The period of 2011-2020 was to become the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.

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