Genetic diversity is the foundation for all biological diversity; the persistence and evolutionary potential of species depend on it. World leaders have agreed on the conservation of genetic diversity as an explicit goal of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Nevertheless, actions to protect genetic diversity are largely lacking. With only months left to the 2010-biodiversity target, when the 191 parties to the CBD have agreed on achieving a significant reduction of the rate of biodiversity loss, gene-level diversity is still not being monitored, and indicators and thresholds that can be used to devise strategies to conserve this important component of biodiversity are missing. Immediate action is needed to ensure that genetic diversity is not neglected in conservation targets beyond 2010.
©2009 Society for Conservation Biology