Why Biodiversity Loss Deserves as Much Attention as Climate Change
Biodiversity loss is probably a challenge that is often ignored as climate change looms. Currently the world is losing species at a rate that is 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, further, it is currently seeing the sixth mass extinction.
The previous mass extinction occured 65 million years ago, and was caused by ecosystem changes, changes in atmospheric chemistry, impacts of asteroids and volcanoes. For the first time in history, the current extinction is caused by the competition for resources between a single species Homo sapiens and all others.
A recent conference arranged by the Danish Ministry of Environment in the University of Copenhagen, provided an opportunity to influence the process of organizing a UN Biodiversity Panel. More than 100 scientists and decision makers from the EU countries gathered and came to the conclusion that drastic measures should be taken to decelerate current loss of biodiversity.
Arresting biodiversity loss is the one of the most important sustainability measures that can be taken. Professor Carsten Rahbek, Director for the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen has said that the establishment of the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is very urgent. This not only will give biodiversity loss, the same status as climate change but will also provide the platform for collaborative action by scientists, politicians and government authorities.
Butterfly image via Shutterstock