Giving Compass' Take:
- At the COP15 this year, world leaders convened to discuss biodiversity as it relates to food systems and future restoration efforts.
- How can donors better understand the importance of biodiversity in the context of climate change?
- Learn about reversing the decline of biodiversity.
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This year’s biodiversity conference, COP15, is a big one, too—delegations from 196 countries are meeting to discuss a global framework through 2030. It’s a “once-in-a-decade opportunity,” WWF writes.
The rhetoric surrounding this conference is strong. At the conference’s opening ceremony, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction. This conference is our chance to stop this orgy of destruction.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau points out, “There are lots of disagreements between governments. But if we can’t agree as a world on something as fundamental as protecting nature, then nothing else matters.”
I’m glad to see world leaders thinking about biodiversity, especially in relation to food, but thoughts alone aren’t enough. So as always, here’s my key question: Are they actually committed to making the policy changes we need?
Because our planet needs action—desperately. A WWF report from this year finds that wildlife populations have experienced a 69 percent average decline since 1970, with the most pronounced impacts in the Global South. An increasing proportion of our land and water resources are being devoted toward an ever-less genetically diverse set of crops and livestock, making our food systems even more vulnerable to pests, the climate crisis, loss of cultural heritage, and more.
“We’ve been taking nature for granted for so long,” said Marco Lambertini, the Director General of WWF. “We’ve been taking, extracting, using. And with population growth, with overconsumption in some of the regions of the world, and with formidable technology progress, the pressure of our food systems on the natural world has grown exponentially over the last few decades.”
Read the full article about biodiversity by Danielle Nierenberg at Food Tank.