Today, out of the 8 million known living species, 1 million are threatened with extinction. This is why it is necessary to focus on these issues of biodiversity protection.
Sometimes forgotten by the general public, biodiversity has nevertheless a great role to play on our planet. Although sometimes difficult to measure, it is a crucial issue that has its place in current discussions related to the environment and its protection. Biodiversity encompasses all living things and the ecosystems in which they live. It also includes the interactions between different species and their environment.
The five main direct drivers of biodiversity loss
There are five main direct drivers of biodiversity loss:
- The change in the exploitation/use of seas and lands; the transformation of forests and agricultural lands for example
- The overexploitation of organisms; an example is the overexploitation of marine fauna. Overexploitation occurs when a species is fished faster than its ability to reproduce and thus maintain a viable population.
- Climate change; involves global warming, but also disruption of temperatures, winds and rainfall.
- Pollution; ocean acidification, soil and groundwater pollution, and air pollution are all examples of pollution.
- Invasive species; These are species that are exogenous to the ecosystem in which they evolve. They are often introduced by humans during intercontinental travel.
In Montreal, from Wednesday, December 7 to Monday, December 19, the COP 15 was held, in other words, the UN conference on biodiversity. Canada welcomed representatives from around the world to discuss future issues related to this topic. The goal of this COP was mainly to measure the progress made so far in order to plan achievable goals.
The COP 15 is crucial in the consideration of climate issues. Different from the COP 27 held in Glasgow at the beginning of the year, it also participates in the adaptation of countries to the challenges of biodiversity loss in the world but also how to mitigate them.
What were the conclusions of this COP15?
The countries participating in the COP 15 finally found an agreement to stop but also reverse the destruction of nature by 2030. 23 objectives were defined at the end of this COP. The protection of 30% of the land and oceans by 2030, a compromise to provide money to the countries less able to participate in the financing of the protection of biodiversity, the reduction of the risks associated with pesticides or the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples are all part of the objectives defined in this COP15.
Considered by some to be as important as the Paris climate agreement, this new agreement, entitled “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework”, will provide a real framework and quantifiable targets for governments in the years to come. The challenge now is to find ways to implement them over the long term in order to achieve real results. It is also necessary to ensure that these objectives are followed by the countries that signed the agreement, since the agreement is not legally binding, and any country can choose not to follow the objectives if it does not wish to.
What can we do at our level to protect biodiversity?
At our level, it is through carbon offsetting and emission reduction activities that we propose to act. It is a concrete action of financing and support for the reduction of CO2e (e: equivalent) emissions in Canada and thus contributing to the protection of the environment and local and global biodiversity.
Written by Alice Badet, GHG Quantifier at Solutions Will, on December 19, 2022.