Biodiversity – COP15

the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) state that around 50,000 wild species are used by humans through hunting, fishing, gathering, logging and harvesting, as well as observing. Around 20% of humanity rely on wild species for income and food (IPBES Report).

Perhaps these statistics mean little to us because in the UK and Europe, we get our food from the shops. Maintaining biodiversity is not in the forefront of our minds because we don’t see the connection between biodiversity loss and the existential threat to our life (style).

The UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal (7-19 December 2022) aims for yet another agreement between the planet’s nations. This time it is about halting and reversing nature and biodiversity loss by 2030. Maybe, the argument of how important nature and biodiversity is for the survival of the human species will be heard more loudly than the call for immediate climate action during COP27?

Personally, I also see biodiversity in a less utilitarian light: nature has intrinsic value and we are part of nature – inextricably entangled in its complex web of interactions and dependencies. To (re)discover it, stop, step outside, breathe deeply and look. Take in the big picture and the detail.

The wonders of nature and its biodiversity are all around us, perhaps hidden under a fallen leaf or a stone, microscopic, majestic and everything in-between on land, in water and in the air.

I wish for COP15 to be a great success – and for the draft of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to be taken seriously (especially ‘D. Theory of Change‘ (well worth a read!).

Featured Image: Unidentified species of plankton found in a plankton net trawl off Arran, Scotland, and captured, along with the other plankton photographs shown here, under the microscope during a STEM education voyage on board the Pelican of London, sail training tall ship of Seas Your Future. (c) C Braungardt 2022

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