Are we N’sync on the environment? People who do not read the Washington Post or the New York Times might have missed the news about the release this week of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The lack of coverage was noted by Climate Activist Greta Thunberg this week.
It is heartbreaking reading for many reasons and especially for those with young children, but we must not forget that climate is in fact a rival to land degradation and habitat loss as a key cause of biodiversity loss.
The report is clear: climate will be the fastest-growing cause of species loss in the Americas by 2050. While human activities like mining, logging, agriculture and other activities are indeed a dangerous part of the picture, and in certain parts of the world the key culprit, a new set of studies emphasize that solving the climate change problem goes a long way toward protecting biodiversity. Conversely, we should understand that protecting the earth’s natural places like the Amazon Basin or Indonesia’s precious rain forests is imperative to avert runaway climate change.
“Land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change are three different faces of the same central challenge: the increasingly dangerous impact of our choices on the health of our natural environment,” IPBES Chairman Robert Watson said in a statement. “We cannot afford to tackle any one of these three threats in isolation — they each deserve the highest policy priority and must be addressed together.”
The ripple effects of a changing climate and loss of species diversity touch almost every country and industry in some way. One of the most at risk is the global food system, which we will continue to discuss next week.
Heather Langsner, VP Impact Analysis
UN biodiversity report paints bleak future, but ASU researcher says there’s time to reconnect with the environment. And the time to act is now.
Just at the IPBES is signing agreements with countries to protect pollinators, might there be a similar biodiversity initiative with asset owners?
Biodiversity and Climate Change: Transforming the Biosphere by Lee Hannah & Thomas E. Lovejoy, know as the “Godfather of Biodiversity”. Thomas also coined the term “Biological diversity”, originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps and has worked on the interaction between climate change and biodiversity for more than 30 years.
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