The degradation of biodiversity has spanned thousands of years throughout the history of humanity. With the development of tools, weaponry, and industry, so came the human capacity to wreak environmental havoc. The natural world is currently in a critical state. We enter an extinction era if present patterns don't change, fueled by climate catastrophe.
As the globe enters the age of extinction and the apparent environmental crisis goes undetected, the responsibility to use every journalistic platform becomes even more pressing.
At the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992, there was a surge of excitement for confronting the world's major environmental issues. As a result, states established three UN treaties to address climate change, biodiversity loss, and soil erosion. Since then, the biodiversity problem and the climate catastrophe have been tackled separately, even though there is a significant overlap between them.
Some individuals believe that splitting them apart is a mistake. Carbon is a factor that both crises share. The primary component of biodiversity in our world, including soil, forests, wetlands, plants, and animals, is also carbon, which is released as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and is what is causing the climate problem.
Governments are gradually beginning to handle them as a single problem. The Cop26 UN climate conference in 2021, according to many observers, will usher in a new era with ambitious vows to safeguard forests, which not only store enormous quantities of carbon but are also abundant in biodiversity.
To prevent a catastrophic climatic breakdown, mapping has discovered habitats that must not be destroyed. These ecosystems include carbon-rich woodlands and wildlife habitats from Aconcagua to Elbrus.
The UN Biodiversity Conference is coming up, and COP15 is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a chance to set goals to halt the global ecological collapse. People have used the terms "nature crisis" and "wildlife recession" to describe how our ecosystems are vanishing at an astonishing speed. The existence of indigenous populations, essential to many ecosystems, is also in danger, as an unprecedented number of them have been eliminated recently.
The biodiversity accord is being discussed at Cop15 in Montreal over a few weeks, encompassing various problems, from exchanging new knowledge about illnesses to environmental restoration.
As 193 nations argue over the "fate of the living world" in the negotiation halls, side rooms, and hallways of the Palais des congrès, pollution, human-wildlife conflict, and soil health are some of the issues up for consideration.
The agreements at the conference note the following pointers:
Preserving the planet: A plan to save at least 30% of land and ocean by the end of the decade has the endorsement of more than 100 nations. The Harvard scientist Edward O. Wilson's Half-Earth idea, which promotes preserving half of the world for humanity's long-term existence, served as its inspiration. The co-hosts Canada has placed their political support behind it, and the coalition of nations supporting it is led by the UK, France, and Costa Rica. According to Steven Guilbeault, Environment Minister, it might be "biodiversity's 1.5C objective."
Pesticides: It has been recorded that insect populations are rapidly declining. Scientists have blamed the widespread use of pesticides intended to eradicate insect life, which is vital to a healthy environment everywhere. At Cop15, a goal to cut pesticide use by at least two-thirds is being discussed. Although the EU has stated that it would strive for a 50% reduction by the decade's end, agricultural farmers are expected to object to a worldwide objective strongly. Any deal that excludes pesticides, according to the Soil Association, will not be sufficient. Gareth Morgan, the organization's director of agriculture, declared that if world leaders fail to break the pesticide cycle, the UN biodiversity meeting will be a cop-out.
Preventing loss of biodiversity - Several provisions in the Cop15 agreement have been suggested to safeguard the 1 million species that are thought to be in danger of extinction due to human behavior. However, some governments are secretly opposed to even mentioning these provisions.
Subsidization - The world spends around $1.8 trillion on subsidies each year, which contribute to the extinction of species and an increase in global warming. Governments spend a large amount of money on ecologically destructive policies, whether through tax credits for clearing the Amazon for livestock or financial assistance for digging up groundwater in the Middle East. There are situations when doing so makes sense, including trying to prevent poverty. Still, many nations want to set a goal to decrease or redistribute at least $500 billion (£409 billion) annually by 2025.
Some nations disagree with this objective, claiming that it is frequently impossible to detect subsidies.
Plastic waste: In March, global leaders decided to create a binding pact to address the plastic garbage that pollutes rivers and seas, jams the stomachs of whales, sharks, and fish, and fills the world's rivers and oceans. The first round of negotiations on the final text's phrasing, covering the whole life of plastics from manufacture to disposal, came to a close last week in Uruguay. Any aim decided at Cop15 will defer to the current treaty to prevent duplication.
Invasive species- A costly issue is the introduction of non-native animals and plants that overwhelm and devastate ecosystems. Examples of species that humans have transferred to places where they shouldn't be, wreaking havoc, include rabbits, Japanese knotweed, and wild pigs. International specialists will publish a significant scientific analysis of the problem's scope the following year. A draft objective in Montreal suggests stepping up efforts to eradicate invasive species and cut their spread in half. Getting rid of them, especially on islands, may change a place. Some islands, like Redonda in the Caribbean( as noted in The Guardian), went from being barren grey rock to becoming green again after removing rodents and farm animals.
Nature regeneration - In addition to increasing the number of protected areas, it has been suggested that damaged terrestrial, marine, and coastal ecosystems be restored to at least 1 billion hectares (2.47 billion acres), nearly the size of China. This scale of a region might benefit significantly from rewilding, restoration, and revitalization in terms of biodiversity and climate.
The most recent draft contains suggestions from national teams that could be excluded from the final accord in the last few days. Currently, "sustainable trophy hunting" is an objective for managing wild animals, and southern African nations strongly encourage it. The current draft has 16 references to "Mother Earth," a Bolivian proposal that refers to the Pachamama belief system of the Incas and is meant to challenge western conceptions of nature. The document also discusses minimizing human-wildlife conflict, which is currently the most significant danger to animals.
The IUCN Red List, where researchers have submitted their study on risks to more than 150,388 species, is where the mortality risk of plants and animals is routinely tracked. They found that more than 42,000 species may become extinct, primarily due to human behavior.
The current study, however, employed a supercomputer to simulate a synthetic Earth with artificial species to grasp better the potential impact of global warming and terrestrial pattern shift on the web of life. In a middle-of-the-road emissions scenario, whereby the world looks to be heading for, the researchers predict that 6% of plants and animals will vanish by 2050, climbing to 13% by the turn of the era.
They predict that by 2100, 27% of plants and animals might be extinct due to global warming.
It states that to address biodiversity loss effectively, the Cop15 agreement's global biodiversity framework must include agricultural transformation, and it cautions that delaying significant action would worsen global poverty and disparities.
Scientists used hundreds of virtual Earths with more than 33,000 species to examine how interactions between artificial plants and animals altered due to various causes of biodiversity loss. According to researchers, who discovered that climate change would be the primary cause of extinctions, the virtual species were able to recolonize new areas of the earth and respond to changes in the model. More than 2,700 experts signed an open letter urging countries to address resource overconsumption in the final version and to start fixing ecological damage by 2030.
Image Source: CGTN
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3 months ago by bose_swarnendu
The author has done a great job in effectively articulating the majority of the issues, that engulfs the crux of the biodiversity conference. Why majority and the not the enitirity? Well, being a close observent of the CoP- 27 at Egypt this year, the hyprocrisy of the developed west and the US has been unvieled and questioned to a grave extent. As the author has mentioned that humaity is itself a curse and the threat to the nature, the developed nations lead the way. The climate conference has exposed how the west has not kept its promise of financing the developing nations to fight climate change and contain the increase in global temperature to 1.5° C. This year although, the final document has inculcated the setting up of a greivance redressal mechanism to finance the developing nations, the question of who'll pay the money and how well it'll be implemented remains unanswered. Such deliberate hindrances of digression which have a direct impact on us and our future needs to be explicitly stated.
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