David Obura always knew that his life’s work would involve the natural world. As a child with a love of nature, he always knew he would become an ecologist. Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, he recalls fondly that his mother would take the family camping at national parks. With these excursions came opportunities for hiking, mountain climbing, and exploration. The family events also took him to one of the earth’s greatest wonders - the sea.
Mango farmer Eufria Nyadome used to earn USD 60 from selling a 20-litre bucket of fresh mangoes and now can barely make USD 20 even though her mango trees are giving a good yield. She is throwing away buckets of rotten mangoes.
If you’ve ever heard that 1 million species are at risk of extinction and wondered what that means for you, your family, and your future – there’s a podcast you won’t want to miss.
To most people, ‘transformative change’ is an abstract academic catchphrase. But transformative change is far more than that. It is the foundational response necessary to address the global crisis of biodiversity loss that threatens the wellbeing of every person in every community – and every species in every region.
When global crises are interlinked, they overlap and compound each other. In such cases, the most effective solutions are those that work at the nexus of all these challenges.
Billy Offland (21), a British sustainability student, went on a two-year 'World Conservation Journey' to bring attention to the biodiversity crisis as the world seeks a deal to protect nature.
Policymakers were encouraged to look at the economic and social aspects with the environmental elements of biodiversity losses to meet the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) targets.
The Atlantic bluefin tuna is among the largest, fastest, and most beautifully colored of all the world’s fish species. They can measure more than 10 feet in length, weigh over 700 kilograms, and can live longer than 30 years. With their metallic blue coloring on top and shimmering silver-white on the bottom, the giant bony fish is a sight to behold.
Up to 1 million species are threatened with extinction – many within decades – this includes nearly one-third of reef-forming corals, shark relatives, and marine mammals. Half of agricultural expansion occurs at the expense of forests, and 85% of wetlands that were present at the beginning of the 18th
century had been lost by the year 2000, with the loss of wetlands considered to be happening three times faster, in percentage terms, than forest loss.
The Dongria Kondhs say they are the descendants of Niramraja, a mythical god-king who is believed to have created the Niyamgiri range of hills in Odisha, an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal.
It is no secret that humankind’s past actions have accelerated the deterioration of ecosystems, negatively impacting our economies, societies, health, and cultures. It is estimated that humans have altered over 97% of ecosystems worldwide, to date. One million species are currently threatened with extinction (IPBES). The writing on the wall is clear. Our planet is in crisis. The sobering reality is that if we continue on our current trajectory, biodiversity and the services it provides will continue to decline, jeopardizing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and our lives as we know them. The decline in biodiversity is expected to further accelerate unless effective action is taken to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss. These causes are often justified by societal values, norms and behaviors. Some examples include unsustainable production and consumption patterns, human population dynamics and trends, and technological innovation patterns.
IPBES’ assessment report on the Sustainable Use of Wild Species, released in July 2022, painted a troubling picture of the ongoing global biodiversity crisis that could paralyse economies and endanger food security and livelihoods.
As part of the 2022 United Nations High-Level Political Forum, BRAC, with the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations, and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations, hosted a side event this week to discuss development opportunities led by the Global South. The event highlighted the NGO’s achievements over the last five decades in alleviating and eradicating poverty and the interconnectedness between the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their initiatives.
The way nature is valued in political and economic decisions is both a key driver of the global biodiversity crisis and a vital opportunity to address it, according to a four-year methodological assessment by 82 top scientists and experts from every region of the world.
Nature has diverse values for different people, but it is poorly evaluated, and this is driving the global biodiversity crisis, top scientists say in a new report.
Fifty thousand wild species meet the needs of billions of people worldwide, providing food, cosmetics, shelter, clothing, medicine and inspiration. But now, a million species of plants and animals face extinction with far-reaching consequences, including endangering economies, food security and livelihoods.
Speaking to IPS about the importance of biodiversity and nature's contributions to people, Dr Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), stressed the importance of moving from knowledge and policy silos to a more integrated approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those related to food, water, health, climate change, and energy, which can only be achieved together with the two goals related to biodiversity.
In the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, the changing climate often eclipses the loss of ecosystems and species in funding and awareness.
Nature has many values. A forest can be a cool and quiet place to retreat to when you need relaxation on a hot summer day. It is a habitat for many species. Trees also sequester and store carbon, reducing future impacts of climate change. But of course, the trees also have a monetary value if they are felled and turned into furniture or put to other uses. These are just four examples of the many values of nature, which are vital parts of our cultures, identities, economies and ways of life.
You probably use wild species far more often than you realise. For many people, especially in more developed economies, the use of wild species sounds like something quite removed from their everyday lives – something perhaps more relevant to other people, in other countries.
In a busy world where love is a complicated affair, speed dating is one way to connect, but can it work to ignite more sustainable relationships with nature? Are we open to a romance with science and evidence?