In just 50 years humanity has managed to wipe out 68% of global wildlife populations. According to the UN, one out of an estimated total of eight million species are currently being threatened with extinction. If we don’t act, we might soon be close to the 6th history’s mass extinction. In short, we are in the midst of the biggest biodiversity crisis in millions of years. The good news: it is not too late to fix it.
Data is clear. Biodiversity, or the variety of all living things of our planet, is in serious danger. This not only implies a calamity for the fauna and flora of the entire world, but also for us. Thanks to biodiversity we are provided with the resources we take for granted: fresh water, air, good quality soil and crop pollination. Every organism has a fundamental role in the ecosystem, whether this could be converting sunlight into energy available to other forms of life or breaking down organic matter into nutrients for plant growth. If we remove one species from the equation, the food chain could be affected and the consequences would be unpredictable. Therefore, it is crucial to preserve biodiversity
But how do we stop this crisis? The solution is quite simple and, like with any other thing we may aim for, we can reach it. The WWF published in 2020 a report pointing out the 5 major causes of biodiversity loss: changes in the use of land (e.g. deforestation, intensive mono-culture); pollution; climate change; invasive alien species; direct exploitation (e.g.hunting, overfishing). In order to end with the deterioration of biodiversity is enough to address each one of these issues.
We know, there is still a lot to do. But the bright side is that every action counts and takes us a bit closer to these objectives. As citizens, there are plenty of ways of acting, like reducing our carbon footprint, planting trees, respecting local habitats or taking shorter showers. As an environmental organization, in MAPF we can keep supporting projects such as the ones we already have on the protection of species like birds or bees (we recommend you to take a look). As country or European Union, we can keep passing laws such as the one that the European Parliament proposed last January on the protection of at least 30% of the union’s territory.
Today we find ourselves in a tipping point. What we do in the following ten years will have a huge impact on the coming centuries. There is still a lot to do, but if we have learned something from our species is that together our potential is infinite. The health of our planet, including ours, is on our hands.