The UN General Assembly today adopted the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. A collective action plan built around 17 major global challenges that address issues related to benefiting people, the planet and global prosperity. The Sustainable Development Goals.
These objectives are connected to each other, and progressing in achieving one means progressing towards the others; and biodiversity is the common denominator of all of them because it is fundamental for the development and well-being of humanity.
How does Biodiversity influence economic prosperity and general well-being?
It is the basis. More than half of all goods and services worldwide depend directly or indirectly on natural resources. Especially in developing countries, where it is not only a source of food but also the main source of income for the population.
Industries such as pharmaceuticals or the beauty sector depend directly on biodiversity. Nature is the source of many drugs used in modern medicine that come from natural plants, animals and microorganisms.
How does biodiversity influence the Earth?
Ecosystems capture and store greenhouse gases, making them a great ally in mitigating climate change. In fact, healthy ecosystems provide up to 37% of the mitigation needed to stop global warming. They are a barrier against natural disasters such as floods, storms, droughts, among others.
They can also protect against the spread of disease: where native biodiversity is high, the rate of infection from zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19, is lower.
It’s nature’s time.
Humans are destroying the planet’s biodiversity. Our consumption habits and general lifestyle have caused 8% of all known animal breeds to become extinct and 22% to become endangered. Water acidification from pollution has caused large-scale loss of marine biodiversity, with hundreds of fish species already gone.
It is time to take care of nature and preserve ecosystems. There is still time to reverse the loss of biodiversity, we must understand that this is the only way to restore and maintain a healthy planet, and the lives it sustains.
To do so, there must be a dramatic change in the development policies, incentives and actions of all governments, businesses and citizens.