Topic: Biodiversity

Biodiversity (origin: Thomas Lovejoy, Elliott Norse, and E.O. Wilson)

Biodiversity is an umbrella term, originated in conservation science of the 1980s, that refers to “the totality of all inherited variation in the life forms of Earth” (E.O. Wilson), from genes and microbial life, to species, biomes, and ecosystems. To bring up biodiversity is to stress how all forms of life are interconnected in complex ways. It is to advocate deep respect for the working of Earth’s living systems, most of which we do not yet fully understand. And it is to assume that human intervention in one area will always have multiple consequences to other nodes of the web of life, so think before you act.

The notion of biodiversity was introduced into mainstream conservation discourse in the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Since then, the CBD has sponsored periodic reports on biological diversity, which summarize the status of Earth’s biodiversity and actions taken to safeguard it. The most recent Global Biodiversity Outlook report (GBO5, released in 2020) found that the world has failed to reach even one of the major biodiversity conservation targets it had set for itself in 2010.

Some of the recent proposals to save the world’s biodiversity include E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth—a call to set aside half of the land and half of the ocean surface to preserve sufficient habitat to ensure the long-term health of the planet—and The Wyss campaign for Nature which seeks to mobilize the world to protect 30% of the marine and terrestrial surface by 2030.

See also: Biodiversity loss, Half Earth, Gaia

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by Juana Martinez-Neal

“The forest needs help! / We all must answer.”

World Without Fish

by Mark Kurlansky

“You cannot afford to be passive. … The survival of not only the oceans but of our world is at stake”

One Earth, cover

by Megan Herbert, Michael E. Mann

“I’m just a kid. What can I do? / Someone must help us. It’s now up to you.”

The Absolute Book

by Elizabeth Knox

“He’s going to do it, she thought. God help us all. He really does mean to save the world”

by Deborah Hopkinson

“Earth is our one and only planet to care for, love, and preserve”

by Huỳnh Him Liên, Phùng Nguyên Quang

“When you don’t know a place, it can be scary …. But what you know can make a difference, turn the unfamiliar into family. I get to trace the edges of my path.”

Frozen 2, Climate Lit

by Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Frozen 2 showcases how the work of climate justice requires the courage to confront the colonial past and the courage to imagine a new, equitable relationship with nature and other peoples.