“Britain has lost more of its natural biodiversity than almost anywhere else in western Europe, the most of all the G7 nations and more than many other nations such as China.”
Researchers have called on governments around the world for ambitious action to preserve and enhance biodiversity globally ahead of the 2021 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15).
Yesterday, we learnt that the UK has a very bad record when it comes to biodiversity:
Almost half of Britain’s natural biodiversity has disappeared over the centuries, with farming and urban spread triggered by the industrial and agricultural revolutions being blamed as major factors for this loss.
That is the shock finding of a study by scientists at London’s Natural History Museum, which has revealed that the UK is one of the worst-rated nations in the world for the extent to which its ecosystems have retained their natural animals and plants.
“Britain has lost more of its natural biodiversity than almost anywhere else in western Europe, the most of all the G7 nations and more than many other nations such as China,” said Professor Andy Purvis, of the museum’s life science department. “It is very striking – and worrying.”
The work by Purvis and his team has been published as negotiators prepare to begin online discussions for the UN biodiversity conference (Cop15) this week. These talks will then be followed by an international biodiversity summit next April in Kunming in China. Its aim will be to establish firm goals that would halt the loss of wildlife and the degradation of habitats that threatens to reach crisis levels across the planet in the near future.
This is what the Natural History Museum has to say:
The world’s biodiversity has fallen below the ‘safe limit’, researchers suggest, as habitat destruction and agriculture take their toll on nature.
Ahead of the 2021 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15), the Museum has launched the Biodiversity Trends Explorer, an online tool that will allow everyone, from members of the public to policymakers, to see how the biodiversity of different regions has changed over time.
According to new analysis of over 58,000 species by Museum scientists, the UK has only half of its entire biodiversity left, putting it in the bottom 10% of the world’s countries.
With an average of just 53% of its native wildlife intact, it falls behind countries including the USA and China following widespread destruction of its habitats from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.
Globally – biodiversity intactness, which represents the proportion of the original number of species in an area that remain and their abundance – is measured at 75%. This is significantly below the 90% average set as the ‘safe limit’ to maintain the ecological processes such as pollination and nutrient cycling that are vital to our survival.
The researchers behind the new analysis have called on governments around the world for ambitious action to preserve and enhance biodiversity globally ahead of the 2021 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15).
This is what is coming out of COP15 today:
Today, representatives from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Kunming, China, to finalise what has been described by some as “the Paris Agreement for Nature”. The Kunming Declaration and Framework — which will be worked out at the UN’s biodiversity convention, known as COP15 — also aims to put an end to humanity’s disruption of a crucial planetary system. Where the Paris Agreement seeks to stop climate change, the Kunming Declaration aspires to halt and reverse biodiversity loss…
With so much attention on the upcoming climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the thought of another summit might be confusing. The Glasgow meeting in November is the Conference of Parties to the UN’s climate change convention. COP15 is the Conference of Parties to the UN’s biodiversity convention: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Every UN member country has signed and ratified the convention except the United States.
With more here:
As many commentators say, though, climate and biodiversity are inextricably linked: