In the late 1980s, Thomas Lovejoy introduced the term biodiversity. A term that describes the enormous variety of life on Earth.
But the term has also caused a major concern in society as it has helped us to understand how species and ecosystems are moving close to unnatural extinction.
Human activities are a major contributor to biodiversity loss. And all our activities generate pollution that harms the planet. Due to our activity such as land exploitation, introduction of invasive species, pollution, and population growth, an appalling 68% of the Earth’s wildlife has disappeared since 1970.
How can we combat biodiversity loss?
According to the IPBES-IPCC report 2021, we need to stop viewing climate change and biodiversity loss as two separate issues. They are deeply intertwined and inextricably tied to human wellbeing. But global policies usually target one topic or the other, leading to unintended consequences.
In addition, we urgently need to change our economic model of consumption to minimize human impact on the natural environment.
Transformative change is needed
In October 2010, The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) came up with a strategic plan for biodiversity 2011 - 2020 called “Aichi”. The plan outlined a set of ambitious global goals for protecting and conserving biodiversity across the globe.
Unfortunately, in September 2020, a UN report revealed that only six of the biodiversity convention’s 20 targets were partially achieved – and none were fully achieved.
The CBD came up with a new plan called “transformative change”. The plan highlight the need to establish more precise objectives and clear mechanisms to measure nations' progress – with biodiversity at the center of all policies that affect how we produce, consume, and build our cities and agriculture.
Restore to sustain
Ramiro Batzin, co-chair of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, points out that we need to become conscious about our consumption and take responsibility for nature if we want new generations to know what Bonobos are.
There has to be a balance between us and nature. We can take from biodiversity what we need, but we mustn’t exploit [it].
And as we register irrevocable loss of life forms, it begs the question: what lies at the heart of the sixth extinction?
Globally, the climate crisis is the talk of the town. But 2022 is the year when we’ll have to make unequivocal progress on biodiversity restoration.
As the Dasgupta Review of 2021 made abundantly clear: humanity’s future depends on our ability to sustain the one thing that sustains us – nature.