The domino effect

In a world that is increasingly interconnected and affected by climate change and habitat loss, it is more crucial than ever to talk about biodiversity: the living fabric of our planet and the sum of all life forms that inhabit it. It is not just about admiring the beauty and variety of species, but trying to understand the network of interactions that sustain our existence. Exploring and preserving biodiversity is essential to safeguard our survival and build a sustainable future.

In recent decades, we have witnessed how human beings have accelerated the modification of natural ecosystems. This action has led to a further loss of biodiversity and the collapse of the natural barriers that protect both our species and all forms of life on the planet. Despite the technological advances we have experienced, our existence is entirely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems.. These ecosystems are essential to ensure the supply of water, food, medicine, clothing, shelter and energy, among many other basic needs. Reconstructing biodiversity is increasingly urgent.

Biological Diversity Framework

Since the year 2000, every May 22nd is celebrated the International Biodiversity Day.This year, that celebration is accompanied by ahistorical agreement: the Kumming-Montreal Global Framework for Biodiversity. This agreement seeks to address the loss of biodiversity, restore ecosystems and protect and recognize the rights of indigenous peoples, They represent 5% of the world’s population, although their lands are home to 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. These towns offer us an example of the possibility and importance of living in harmony with the diversity of species that surround us.

This is a document signed by 196 countries at the 15th Conference of the Parties in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022. It is an ambitious plan to protect, preserve and restore nature, which sets goals and concrete measures to stop and reverse the loss of nature by 2050. Some have called the Framework a Paris Agreement for nature.

If the Biodiversity Framework is applied effectively, it could lead to a major shift towards regenerative models that introduce changes to agriculture, business supply chains, financial resource mobilization for nature, and the role of indigenous communities in conservation. Although that framework is not legally binding, governments will be tasked with demonstrating progress in meeting targets with National Biodiversity Action Plans, similar to Nationally Determined Contributions for climate.

Interconnections: Biodiversity and climate change

Biodiversity is the foundation of healthy ecosystems and provides vital services, from plant pollination to water purification and climate regulation. The main cause of biodiversity loss continues to be land use, especially for food production. Human activity has already altered more than 70 percent of the ice-free land surface. However, climate change is playing an increasingly important role in its relationship with biodiversity.

Climate change has altered the planet’s marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Species risk of extinction increases with each degree of warming. On dry land, high temperatures have already forced animals and plants to withdraw. In the ocean, rising temperatures increase the risk of irreversible loss of marine and coastal ecosystems. Coral reefs, for example, have nearly halved in the past 150 years, and changes in global temperature patterns threaten to destroy nearly half of those that remain.

However, biodiversity remains essential to slow climate change.Healthy ecosystems provide a wide range of ecosystem services: they act as carbon sinks, absorbing and storing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they play a crucial role in climate regulation through the regulation of water cycles, and nutrients, prevent soil erosion and protect coasts from storms and sea level rise, providing a natural barrier against extreme weather events, among others.

The loss of biodiversity and climate change, as well as pollution, are part of an interrelated triple planetary crisis that the world is currently facing. Biodiversity and climate change are by nature related and the protection of biodiversity is essential to mitigate the effects of climate change and guarantee the health of our ecosystems. Recognizing that well-being and survival are intrinsically linked to the preservation and protection of biodiversity is an urgent global need. Otherwise, it’s a domino effect that may not go back.