The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recently released the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5), a periodic report that summarizes the latest data on biodiversity status and trends. This edition provides an overview of lessons learned over the past two decades, identifying eight necessary changes to meet governments’ commitment to “Living in Harmony with Nature” by 2050.

The report recognizes that none of the Aichi targets on biodiversity will be met in the expected time framework, even though there has been progress in some areas. In the case of invasive alien species (IAS), CBD highlights the advances made in identifying, prioritizing and investigating them, but concludes that there is no evidence of a slowing down in the number of new IAS introductions.

As biodiversity losses reach unprecedented levels, the development and deployment of new tools for conservation purposes becomes crucial. Potential applications for gene drive in this field could enable the elimination of IAS, a major threat to native ecosystems. Invasive rodents, for example, are now present in approximately 80% of islands, and over 75% of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians’ have been forced into extinction.