International Day for Biological Diversity

International Day for Biological Diversity

The International Day for Biological Diversity
“Transformative change” necessary torestore and protect nature
Biodiversity in crisis

Biodiversity as a term is a reminder that no single species exists in isolation from
others.  All species interact, and it is
the balance of these interactions that is vitally important for the
sustainability of the ecosystems on which we all depend for our food, fuel, raw
materials, economic growth, health and well-being.  It is increasingly apparent that we all need
to do our bit to live and work sustainably. 
We cannot go on consuming raw materials and producing greenhouse gases
at rates that are resulting in a dangerous decline in biodiversity at a global
and local level.

Major new report on biodiversity and ecosystems
 This is highlighted in a major new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy

Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  The IPBES Global Assessment Report claims to
be the most comprehensive of its kind, compiled by 145 expert authors from 50
countries over the past three years.  A
summary was approved at the 7thsession of the IPBES Plenary which
met last week (29thApril – 4thMay) in Paris.

Unprecedented decline in nature
 The IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson, commented that “the health of ecosystems on

which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than
ever.  We are eroding the very
foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of
life worldwide”.


The report highlights that nature is declining globally at unprecedented rates, with
acceleration in the rate of species extinctions resulting in grave impacts on
people around the world.  Around one
million animal and plant specials are now threatened with extinction, many
within decades.


Since 1980, greenhouse gas emissions have doubled, with an average global temperature
rise of 0.7 degrees Celsius having a major impact on nature and
ecosystems.  The report also highlights
that around 60 billion tons of renewable and non-renewable resources are
extracted globally each year, up nearly 100% since 1980. Over the same period
there has been a 15% increase in global per capita consumption of materials,
coupled with huge population growth, and a ten-fold increase in plastic

 “Transformative change” required 

However, Sir Robert Watson also underlines the report’s findings that it is not too late

to make a difference, but that this can only be achieved by “transformative
change” – meaning “a fundamental, system-wide reorganisation across
technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and
values”.  Through this transformative
change “nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably”.


 Our response 

Technological innovation can be a force for both lowering and increasing the damage to
nature.  We need to make sure that we use
it as a sustainable driver of economic growth, pushing ahead with new
technologies which create the prosperity and know-how to keep the earth
healthy, but doing so in a sustainable way, extending the lifecycle of
redundant equipment, while reducing the use of raw materials and carbon
emissions.  We all need to be part of
that transformative change and embrace the circular economy revolution.

Susan Gowling ~ Veritas Digital Services 44 1438 747480