By Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media and Communications Officer. Writing from the Convention on Biological Diversity conference in Hyderabad, India
 
Unidentified octopus © IUCN/Sarah GotheilThe days are short here at the nature summit in Hyderabad and time seems to fly with the speed of a bumble bee. The vibes are great and I love the adrenaline but this also reminds me of something less fun…

We're in 2012 – two years into the UN Decade of Biodiversity and two years after we set twenty 'biodiversity targets' that we must reach to preserve our planet's natural environment – and save ourselves from going hungry, thirsty and more and more exposed to natural hazards.

Before we know it we'll be halfway there. Another blink of an eye – and time's up. And then what? Will we be hearing the same words we heard two years ago about the 2010 targets that never got reached ? 'The world has failed to meet the targets to save all life on earth…'

The targets look great on paper but that's obviously not enough to make things work. The big question is how well they look on the ground. And although there will be no Hyderabad deal or treaty coming out of this meeting, this is in fact an extremely important conference where IUCN experts are playing a crucial role.

They're here to take a closer look at what's been done to reach the targets so far at a national level, what still needs to be done -and how – and to push countries to actually do it. And to answer those baffling questions: What’s the hidden meaning of ‘effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas’? How on earth are we supposed to share the earth's genetic resources 'fairly and equitably'? Oh, and who’s going to sponsor all this?

The chronically congested streets of Hyderabad remind me of the recent 'there are seven billion people in the world' announcement. And then I remember its second part: 'by 2050 we're expected to reach nine billion’. Well, if this is where we're heading then those at the meeting in Hyderabad need to take things very seriously. Hurry up – the planet isn't going to wait much longer.