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The world was so engrossed in the US presidential election campaign - only to later shift its attention to the leadership change in China - that it almost turned a blind eye to the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Hyderabad, southern India, from Oct 8 to19.
Perhaps the world might have ignored the CBD even without the US presidential election round the corner, for it considers dealing with the US financial and the European Union debt crises a thousand times more important than trying to save 400 species from extinction.
More than 400: that is the number of plants and animals that have been added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's "Red List" of species at risk of extinction. The list was compiled as more than 70 environment ministers met at the Hyderabad conference. The updated and widely referenced IUCN list, which monitors biodiversity on our planet, shows that 20,219 species are now at risk of dying out.