"Many good things are happening around the world and these should be celebrated and encouraged," UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said in a press release. "Nevertheless, the rate of biodiversity loss is unprecedented in human history and pressures are intensifying. Earth's living systems as a whole are being compromised. And the more humanity exploits nature in unsustainable ways and undermines its contributions to people, the more we undermine our own wellbeing, security and prosperity."
The report comes amidst a growing awareness that biodiversity loss threatens human well-being as much as the climate crisis. A major study published last week found that human activity had led to a 68% drop in wildlife populations in the last 50 years. And both the coronavirus pandemic and the wildfires devastating the Western U.S. are examples of what happens when humans develop without taking nature into consideration.
Countries are now in the process of negotiating new targets. The next meeting of the CBD was supposed to take place in Kunming, China next month, but was delayed because of the coronavirus until May of 2021.
To set humanity on the right track, the report recommended eight transitions to improve our relationship with nature and protect Earth's and our own wellbeing.
- Protecting forests and other undisturbed ecosystems
- Making agriculture sustainable
- Making the food system sustainable by, among other things, shifting from meat and fish to plant-based foods and reducing waste
- Protecting oceans and fish populations
- Making cities and infrastructure greener and more sustainable
- Protecting freshwater ecosystems and drinking water
- Acting on climate change by preserving natural carbon sinks and phasing out fossil-fuel use
- Managing ecosystems to improve human and nonhuman health
"As we emerge from the immediate impacts of the pandemic, we have an unprecedented opportunity to 'build back better,' incorporating the transitions outlined in this Outlook and embodied in an ambitious plan to put the world on track to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in the press release. (source: ecowatch.com)
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