Our development, our security and our quality of life all depend on the continued health of our natural environment.
The permanent loss of any species or any ecosystem has repercussions well beyond our current ability to understand – because all threads in the web of life are connected, and allowing even one to be eliminated can cause the others to rapidly unravel.
One of the most important messages from the 2019 IPBES Global Assessment Report was that extinctions and the degradation of nature’s contributions to people matter, not only as issues of environmental and ethical concern, but also on a very practical everyday level for all people as well.
Worsening land degradation, caused by human economic activity, is already undermining the well-being of two fifths of all people on Earth. By 2050, the combination of land degradation and climate change is predicted to reduce global crop yields by as much as 50% in some regions.
The recovery of species and the restoration of ecosystems make sense by every measure – on average, the benefits of restoration are ten times higher than the costs.
It’s vital that we do more to understand these cascading interconnections. The planned publication in July this year of the IPBES Assessment Report on the Sustainable Use of Wild Species will be a vital new resource in advancing our understanding.
On World Wildlife Day 2022, and every day, we must act to protect all species and ecosystems at risk, for people and for nature.