Saturday, June 30, 2018

Biodiversity is the 'infrastructure that supports all life'

Dr Cristiana Pașca Palmer, UN assistant secretary general and executive secretary of the convention on biological diversity, discusses Half Earth, a future biodiversity agreement and where to find the money to save life on Earth

In my view, we need to ensure that the entire planet is used sustainably. That is, 100% of the Earth, the “Whole Earth”, has to be managed in a way that will allow continuous healthy functioning of the ecological systems that support life on Earth, including human life.
We can think of biological diversity as the “infrastructure” that supports all life on the planet. When we lose species through extinction the web of life is destroyed and this in turn affects the resilience of the ecosystems and nature’s capacity to provide the services that humans benefit from – ensuring our food, the air we breath, the water we drink, or the moments of peace and serenity we enjoy in nature.

Conservation and protection of nature, ecosystems, and species is one essential pillar of any strategy to ensure fully functional natural systems in the long term. Ecological restoration of degraded lands through natural means should be another key component. Ultimately, the paradigm shift that perhaps is necessary is the wide-understanding that the Earth is one system of interconnected elements, and that humans’ social and economic systems are embedded in the larger nature’s system, and not the other way around. Read More