Restoring damaged ecosystems is vital to avoid the collapse of nature’s most valuable contributions to people, but International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 should also
be a wake-up call about the importance of addressing our social, economic and systemic values, because it is these that are driving the destruction of nature.
There is a single species that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic - us. As with the climate and biodiversity crises, recent pandemics are a direct consequence of human activity – particularly our global financial and economic systems, based on a limited paradigm that prizes economic growth at any cost. We have a small window of opportunity, in overcoming the challenges of the current crisis, to avoid sowing the seeds of future ones.
The UN’s highly-touted socio-economic agenda, which lays out an ambitious global plan for “people, planet and prosperity”, has been dominated by “goals, targets and deadlines.”
When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the 193-member General Assembly last December, he focused on the smoldering climate crisis-- pointing out that the last five years have been the hottest ever recorded.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres describes the ongoing crisis as a “climate emergency”-- as the world continues its hard fought battle against devastating droughts, floods, hurricanes and rising sea levels that threaten the very existence of small island developing states located in low-lying areas.
This month saw an important milestone reached by the U.N.’s young Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): Publication of its first public product.
To mainstream biodiversity concerns into development planning, we must offer a compelling rationale and demonstrate biodiversity’s relevance to wealth generation, job creation and general human wellbeing. Only a persuasive “why” resonating throughout society will successfully get us to urgently needed negotiations of who, what, where, when and how to halt disastrous biodiversity loss.