Efforts to reverse the worrying loss of dwindling natural resources received a substantial boost yesterday when a UN conference in India agreed to double biodiversity aid to poor countries.
Governments reached a deal in Hyderabad that again saw battle lines drawn between developing and affluent states.
In a week that saw 400 plants and animals added to a "Red List" of species at risk of extinction, negotiators clashed over the extent and timing of more aid to halt the decline in species and habitats that humans depend on.
In the end, they agreed to double biodiversity-related funding to developing countries by 2015, until 2020.
The deal requires at least 75 per cent of recipient countries to report on their spending by 2015 and to draw up national biodiversity plans in return for the aid.
The Aichi Biodiversity Targets include halving the rate of habitat loss, expanding water and land areas under conservation, preventing the extinction of threatened species and restoring at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems - all by 2020.
"In the context of the financial crisis, this is a good deal," French Environment Minister Delphine Batho said.