On the occasion of the first phase of CBD COP 15 talks in Kunming this past October, world leaders gathered to continue discussions on a way forward to halt biodiversity loss and restore threatened ecosystems. To succeed, they will need to address what IPBES (The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) has identified as the five main drivers of biodiversity loss, which include invasive alien species (IAS).

On November 4, Malaria Partners International will be hosting a webinar on genetically modified mosquitoes and the future of mosquito control for disease prevention. The highly anticipated event will provide an overview of Oxitec’s work and the Oxitec Mosquito Project, a collaborative endeavour designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes as a control tool for the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito population in the Florida Keys, United States.

Recent clinical studies carried out in sub-Saharan Africa have confirmed scientists’ worst fears: malaria parasites have developed resistance to a key family of drugs used to protect against them. Researchers have long suspected this, as signs associated with drug resistance such as gene mutations had already been detected in previous studies. However, the confirmation of resistance arising in Africa raises major concerns, as the continent alone carries over 90% of the global malaria burden.

Global warming, overfishing, pollution and a host of other factors have led to a decline in coral reef cover by approximately 50% since the fifties according to an analysis of almost 15,000 reef surveys. From the Great Barrier Reef to the Saya de Malha Bank, coral reef cover and the diversity of fish species which depend on them are receding drastically.

The leaders of over 100 countries have adopted the Kunming Declaration, calling for an "urgent and integrated" action on biodiversity. The document is the outcome of the High-Level Segment of CBD COP-15 Part 1 – 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity – that took place in China on October 11-15.

The declaration aims to build momentum and set forward general ambitions to halt biodiversity loss ahead of the next round of negotiations of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework in January 2022. Invasive alien species (IAS) are listed among the main drivers of the current environmental crisis, and their control and eradication are cited as a necessary step towards reducing threats to biodiversity.