Preserving biodiversity vital to reverse tide of climate change, UN stresses on International Day

Bioversity International/B. Sthapit A saleswoman sells Asian grapefruits on a floating market.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


The food people eat around the world is becoming “alarmingly homogenous” according to UN data, even though access to a wide variety of nutritious food has never been greater. That warning comes as the world marks the International Day for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, which this year highlights the impact of environmental neglect on food security and public health.

Biodiversity in plant and animal life in the world – in terms of species, habitats and genetics – leads to ecosystems that are healthier, more productive and better able to adapt to challenges like climate change, says the UN, and human activity is threatening the fate of species around the world like never before, according to an alarming new UN report earlier this month.

The theme “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health” aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness of how much all life depends on biodiversity.

In his message to mark the day, celebrated every 22 May, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, notes that “the quality of the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe all depend on keeping the natural world in good health”, also underlining that biodiversity was essential to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and to address climate change.

Healthy ecosystems can “provide 37 per cent of the mitigation needed to limit global temperature rise”, he said, warning that the “current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems are projected to undermine progress towards 80 per cent of the targets for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We cannot allow this to happen.”

“The world’s current food system is increasingly broken.  Billions of people lack access to proper nutrition”, said the UN chief. “Approximately one third of what is produced is lost or wasted.  The ways in which we grow, process, transport, consume and waste food are leading causes of biodiversity loss, while also contributing to climate change.”

Addressing the issue of deforestation, Mr. Guterres said it had caused the “loss of more than 290 million hectares of forests that help to absorb harmful carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere”.

Mr. Guterres urged all governments, businesses and civil society to “take urgent action to protect and sustainably manage the fragile and vital web of life on our one and only planet”.

Highlighting the galvanizing effect of biodiversity for human health and well-being, the Secretary-General stressed that “solutions exist”.

“By halting environmentally harmful practices, diversifying our food systems and promoting more sustainable production and consumption patterns, we can improve global health, increase food security and strengthen resilience to climate change”, he concluded.

How can you help?

By choosing to eat only seasonal and local produce, we can ensure that the demand for the right foods is high in the right season.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than 90 per cent of traditional crops have disappeared from farmers’ fields, while half of the animals bred by humans have been lost. All of the world’s 17 main fishing grounds are being fished at or above their sustainable limits.

FAO also underlines that agricultural biodiversity is fundamental for coping with a changing climate, and helping to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and securing the future of diverse sources of healthy and nutritious food.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief reaffirms commitment to untying ‘Gordian knot’ of Middle East conflict and instability

To tackle climate change, we need city diplomacy

UN health agency identifies 5-year-old Congolese boy as first confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

Why we are using these custom-built drones to collect whale snot

3 ways to nurture collaboration between universities and industry

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

US-China trade war: Washington now wants control of the renminbi-yuan

Amid troop build-up in Rohingya’s home state, UN appeals to Myanmar for peaceful solution

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: The Digital Era: A New Business Frontier

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2015: Why interns should matter to business

Turkey’s foreign bribery enforcement framework needs to be urgently strengthened and corporate liability legislation reformed

Women to save Europe’s own labour resources

Service and Sacrifice: Guinean peacekeepers make their mark in Mali

DR Congo Ebola outbreak now a Public Health Emergency, UN health agency declares

In Tanzania, UN refugee chief praises ‘regional peacemaker’ role, and efforts to welcome neighbours on the run

Palestine refugee crisis ‘expanding’; leaving highest number at risk this century across Gaza

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

How leaders can use ‘agile governance’ to drive tech and win trust

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU at the Chinese Fashion Night

Second Ebola death confirmed in Uganda as UN health agency mulls global emergency call

The implications of Brexit on European business, youth entrepreneurship and junior enterprises.

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

Why embracing human rights will ensure Artificial Intelligence works for all

ISIL continues to pose a ‘serious challenge’ worldwide – UN counter-terror chief

Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

Myanmar military leaders must face genocide charges – UN report

Vaccinations and the movement of anti-vaccers

Top UN official urges Russia and Ukraine to step away from further confrontation at sea

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

FROM THE FIELD: Watering the parched farmland of São Tomé and Príncipe

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

The EU and North Korea: A Story of Underestimation

UN mission welcomes Afghan government’s announcement of Eid holiday ceasefire

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

UN Chief ‘strongly rejects’ Guatemala decision to expel anti-corruption body

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

Why the agtech boom isn’t your typical tech disruption

Brexit: visa-free access to the EU for UK nationals and to the UK for Europeans

Security Union: Commission receives mandate to start negotiating international rules for obtaining electronic evidence

The digital skills gap is widening fast. Here’s how to bridge it

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

Why CFOs need to rethink what it means to create value

Here’s how we solve the global crisis of tribalism and democratic decay

JADE Testimonial #3: Sebastian @ Fundraising

The EU heads of State and Government about the result of the European Elections 2019

The European Commission, European Investment Bank and Breakthrough Energy Ventures establish a new €100 million fund to support clean energy investments

How to rebuild trust and integrity in South Africa

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

EU rewards organisations that make eco-innovation pay

COP21 Breaking News: Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation Announced

UN forum to explore use of outer space to improve lives, protect planet

Commission’s Youth Initiative fails first hurdle by not sufficiently consulting young people

EU elections 2019: Trump’s share in the support of populism

To end deforestation, we must protect community land rights

UN ‘stands in solidarity’ with cyclone-hit India – Secretary-General Guterres

A jingoistic Spanish ‘war’ from the past

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s