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. In September 2020, recognizing the unprecedented scale of biodiversity loss, 64 countries signed Leader’s Pledge for Nature to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. The most WWF’s Living Planet Report 2022 reveals an average decline of 69% in species populations since 1970, driven by the way we currently produce and consume.

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; The Wyss campaign for Nature which seeks to mobilize the world to protect 30% of the marine and terrestrial surface by 2030; and Doug Tellamy’s grassroots initiative Homegrown National Park, which encourages individuals to massively rewild any land they own (in the U.S., 76% of the land is in private hands and 85.6% of the land east of the Mississippi is privately owned too).

See also: Biodiversity loss, Half Earth, Gaia

©2023 ClimateLit (Marek Oziewicz)

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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”

Wilderness Wars

by Barbara Henderson

“We are destroying the habitats—the homes—of all these plants and animals … Nature, the wilderness, is fighting back.”

by Kate Messner

“Down in the dirt is a whole busy world of earthworms and insects, digging and building and stirring up soil. They’re already working down in the dirt.”

by Yuval Noah Harari

“Animals and plants depend on one another, so if something happens to one kind of creature, it usually influences many others. And this law even applies to you”

by Adam Gidwitz

“Brand-new friend. Terrifying teacher. Mythical animal. Breaking and entering. First day at a new school.”

by Adam Gidwitz, Jesse Casey

“I believe that someday we will be able to undo all the damage the Schmoke brothers have done to the world and its creatures.”

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.”

by Cara Delevingne, Jane Goodall, Ricky Gervais, Taika Waititi

“This comic book is brave. It is like no other. It asks YOU, the reader, to don the tights, the capes, and go out and become the superheroes who will change our ecological crisis for the better.”

by Todd Mitchell

“Kiri scanned the forest, spotting the panther less than a stone’s throw from where she crouched. Moonlight glinted off the panther’s fiery green eyes as the creature studied her. Follow, whispered a voice that sounded less like her mother, and more like the hiss of a cat.”