The UN has agreed to add biodiversity targets to its Millenium Development Goals, specifically reducing the proportion of species threatened with extinction using the IUCN Red List. Here’s a press release from BirdLife.
This is fantastic news. Getting buy-in from the UN will no doubt politicize the process of categorizing species on the Red List. But it should also improve it in a number of ways, by increasing transparency and strengthening guidelines. I’d love to see species weighted by genetic (or functional) uniqueness, but any index is better than none. This is a big step forward.