News Selection – Biodiversity
Recent news chosen to illustrate and update Tread Softly briefings on Biodiversity.
Global biodiversity agreement on ‘conserved areas’ marks new era
13/12/2018: Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity have adopted the definition of ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’ (known informally as ‘conserved areas’). It marks a transformative moment in international biodiversity law. Source: Mongabay
Surge in marine refuges brings world close to protected areas goal
19/11/2018: A record surge in the creation of marine protected areas has taken the international community close to its goal of creating nature refuges on 17% of the world’s land and 10% of seas by 2020, according to a new UN report. Source: The Guardian
Earth’s Biodiversity: A Pivotal Meeting at a Pivotal Time
15/11/2018: Largely overshadowed by other concerns in the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was a section on how much better it will be for biodiversity if global warming can be held to 1.5°C rather than 2°C. Source: Inter Press Service
Greenpeace slams Antarctic Ocean Commission for failing to protect Antarctic waters
2/11/2018: Delegations from China, Norway and Russia all played a part in blocking an opportunity for the Antarctic Ocean Commission to create the largest protected area on Earth.
Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN
6/11/2018: The world must thrash out a new deal for nature in the next two years or humanity could be the first species to document our own extinction, warns the UN’s biodiversity chief.
Source: The Guardian
Protect the last of the wild
31/10/2018: Earth’s remaining wilderness areas are increasingly important buffers against the effects of climate change and should be safeguarded, warn researchers from the University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Source: Nature
Tread Softly Comment: This research summary calls for international targets to preserve the planet's remaining wilderness areas, otherwise described as "intact ecosystems." It doesn't fully explain the distinction between such areas and the more familiar designation of national parks and protected areas, for which targets have been established under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Relevant Briefing: Conservation of Biodiversity
WWF report reveals staggering extent of human impact on planet
30/10/2018: The Living Planet Report 2018 indicates that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined, on average, by 60% between 1970 and 2014. Source: WWF
A new 'forever fund' for food security
16/10/2018: An endowment of the Crop Trust will secure the future of the largest rice collection in the world, 136,000 varieties stored in the Philippines. One purpose is to develop improved rice varieties that can withstand impacts of climate change. Source: Devex
Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown
10/10/2018: The current trajectory of food production could smash critical environmental limits, according to new research. In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and pulses. Source: The Guardian
Agreement bans commercial fishing across much of the Arctic, for now
4/10/2018: Under a new agreement signed by nine nations and the European Union, commercial fishing will be banned across a large chunk of the Central Arctic Ocean as a precautionary measure for at least 16 years.