We are Losing Nature Biodiversity at the Fastest Rate in Human History — Global Issues

  • Idea by Amy Fraenkel, Marco Lambertini (bonn / route)
  • Associated Press Service

We are losing nature – biodiversity – at the fastest rate in human history. About a million species of plants and animals are heading towards extinction. As human activities destroy and degrade natural sites more and more, nature becomes increasingly fragmented.

Nature provides fresh water, supports food systems, and underlies major industries such as forestry, agriculture, and fisheries. However, our efforts to protect our precious biodiversity have been flawed and inadequate.

Nature conservation over the past decades has largely involved the creation of many protected areas, which have certainly helped slow the loss of biodiversity.

But there are also limitations to this approach. Many protected areas are not managed effectively or equitably, some types of ecosystems are not fully represented and – perhaps most importantly – protected areas are created as islands in the midst of landscapes. Industry, agriculture and urbanization were revised.

In many countries, the majority of wildlife species live outside protected areas. Only 9% of the world’s migratory birds are fully covered by protected areas during all phases of their annual cycle. Nature simply cannot exist let alone thrive in this deeply damaged and fragmented way.

This December, thousands of government representatives, scientists and other stakeholders will travel to Montreal, Canada (December 7 to 19) to attend the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), where they will attempt to agree on commitments to address this growing crisis.

By all accounts, the negotiations have yet to meet what is so desperately needed to repair our current path. If we are to successfully address the biodiversity crisis, we must adopt an approach that can meet conservation goals while providing food, water, security and livelihoods to our populations. 10 billion people globally by 2050.

The key to this lies in what is known as ecological connectivity – to put it simply, ensuring that our landscape, seascape and watershed allow the movement of species and flow of natural processes.

Ecological connectivity is essential to ensuring the health and productivity of ecosystems, the survival of wild plant and animal species, and genetic diversity.

It contributes to climate resilience and adaptation, productive land and effective recovery. And there are thousands of wildlife species that migrate seasonally from one habitat to another.

One of the most talked about ideas in the Montreal talks that are gaining significant political traction is the so-called “30 by 30” goal, which calls for a minimum of thirty percent of the land, Earth’s freshwater and oceans are protected or conserved in some form by 2030.

But this numerical target will not be ambitious unless connectivity is placed at the heart of its implementation, and the roles and rights of indigenous peoples and local communities are recognized.

Currently, connectivity is expressed in the draft target in two short words: “well connected”. These same words were part of previous global biodiversity goals that by all accounts failed us.

To be successful, connectivity must be the test of all area-based conservation measures at the national level. The choice of which areas to protect and conserve should be guided by whether they contribute to connectivity – along with appropriate environmental and social safeguards.

Likewise, urban growth, infrastructure development, and other human activities must be planned in a way that achieves economic and social needs while remaining connected. And governments need to measure and report on their progress in delivering on this commitment to connectivity.

There is another essential element to achieving ecological connectivity: governments need to cooperate across national borders to protect and conserve shared areas and natural species.

In 2021, UN General Assembly adopts remarkable resolution urges all Member States to strengthen international cooperation to improve the connectivity of transboundary habitats, avoid their fragmentation, and protect species that depend on protected ecosystems. connection.

It is alarming, however, that the draft to be negotiated in Montréal does not yet include any such commitment for governments to work together to implement the cross-border aspects of the framework.

The good news is that we have the knowledge and ability to turn around current trends and achieve a sustainable relationship with nature. Governments, companies, the financial sector, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities are strongly motivated to achieve connectivity.

For example, the government of Canada is launching a CAD 60 million program for ecological corridora company in Sabah Borneo is completing a 14 km . long reforestation wildlife corridor in his plantation.

Local community citizen scientists in Nepal have discovered that a corridor they have restored is now noisy with wild animals. It’s time to work together to connect nature at a scale that delivers what we all need – a healthy planet.

Amy Fraenkel is the Executive Secretary of the Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS); and Marco Lambertini as Director General, WWF International.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service


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