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Background paper for UN task force on environmental sustainability

The UN Millennium Project was established by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to recommend ways of achieving the Millennium Developemnt Goals - reducing the number of people living in poverty before 2015. The project is divided into 10 task forces. Task force 6 is responsible for environmental sustainability, which includes biodiversity conservation.

This report serves as the task force's official background document. It explores a number of key issues including: why biodiversity and ecosystem services matter; what are the key areas of environmental degradation; what are the causes; why are current conservation efforts not working; what might be the elements of a framework for action; and what is the economic value of biodiversity.

An interim report will be published towards the end of 2003.