News Selection – Biodiversity
Recent international news and analysis chosen to illustrate and update Tread Softly briefings on Biodiversity.
Activists blast EU for allowing palm oil in biofuels until 2030
14/6/2018: The European Parliament and EU member states have agreed to phase out palm oil from motor fuels by 2030, much later than the initially proposed deadline of 2021. Activists say that rainforest destruction will continue.
Great green wall brings hope to Sahel
11/6/2018: The idea of a green corridor crossing the dry regions of the African continent has made modest progress to date. Now the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative has been launched by the African Union. with major donor support.
The plastic cycle
5/6/2018: Plastic waste is a major threat to ocean biodiversity, as well as human health. The world lacks technology and capacity to cope with the massive demand for recycling. Sunita Narain concludes that there is no option but to live without plastic.
The global impacts of food production
31/5/2018: What is the best way to reduce food's environmental impact? A study of 38,000 farms producing 40 different agricultural goods around the world concludes that a vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth.
Restricting global warming to 1.5C could halve risk of biodiversity loss
17/5/2018: Limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels rather than 2C could halve the number of vertebrate and plant species facing severe losses by the end of the century.
The UK government wants to put a price on nature
15/5/2018: The UK government is building its environmental strategy around the concept of natural capital which implies that a monetary value can be placed on ecosystems. George Monbiot believes this approach is flawed.
South Georgia declared rat-free
9/5/2018: The world’s biggest project to eradicate a dangerous invasive species has been declared a success, as the remote island of South Georgia is now clear of the rats and mice that had devastated its wildlife for nearly 250 years.
Even familiar birds at risk of extinction
23/4/2018: The 2018 State of the World’s Birds report finds that the extinction crisis has spread so far that even some well-known species are now in danger
The effectiveness of payments for ecosystem services
6/4/2018: There are currently more than 550 Payments for Ecosystem Services programmes active around the world, involving more than $36 billion in annual transactions. Research suggests that they are more effective for protecting forests than biodiversity
Worsening worldwide land degradation is now critical
29/3/2018: Worsening land degradation caused by human activities is undermining the well-being of two fifths of humanity, driving species extinctions, human migration, conflict, and intensifying climate change.