Biodiversity targets were prominent at the Tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Having failed to reach the CBD's 2010 target, delegates debated the nature of targets, details of specific targets, and how to avoid failure in 2020. As part of a group of seventeen researchers conducting a collaborative event ethnography at COP10, we draw on observations made during negotiations of the CBD Strategic Plan and at side events to analyze the production of the 2020 targets. Once adopted, targets become “naturalized,” detached from the negotiations that produced them. Drawing on insights from science and technology studies, we analyze the interaction of science and politics during negotiations and discuss what targets do within the CBD and the broader global conservation governance network.

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