Over the past few years, biodiversity has taken centre stage in the news and public discourse. While climate change has long been a hot topic, the attention on biodiversity has gained momentum since 2018, with discussions on biodiversity loss, threats to biodiversity, and the crisis it poses.
Although there is a great wealth of research data available concerning the impact of biodiversity on our planet, it can be difficult to truly understand what biodiversity and biodiversity loss are. Companies play an important role in addressing biodiversity, particularly when utilising renewable raw materials.
Biodiversity is crucially significant to life on local, regional, and global scales in all its diverse dimensions.
There is a question of whether certain areas hold greater global importance from a biodiversity perspective. Biodiversity is not evenly distributed worldwide, with tropical rainforests and oceans boasting exceptionally rich biodiversity compared to other regions. However, it is crucial to recognize that biodiversity thrives even in regions like Finland, where over 50,000 species reside.
There are critical concerns surrounding biodiversity loss, with up to 1 million species at risk of extinction. Our well-being, economies, and future possibilities are all intertwined with biodiversity. We must embrace biodiversity as a human rights issue and be aware of the responsibility we must protect it.
THE ROLE OF COMPANIES IN CONSERVATION EFFORTS
Biodiversity loss is a significant issue, but there are examples of successful restoration and conservation efforts that provide hope. While environmental destruction has been extensive in some areas, positive changes can be made to improve the future of biodiversity.
Companies have an essential role to play in conserving biodiversity, and many are already showing interest and taking steps to understand and mitigate their impacts.
Collaboration between businesses and scientific research teams can lead to better tools and methodologies for measuring impacts on biodiversity. Biodiversity education and awareness are increasing throughout value chains, driven by customer demands and the need for cooperation.
COMBATTING BIODIVERSITY LOSS
Biodiversity loss is a pressing issue, and in Finland, about 12% of species have been found to be threatened. Globally, tropical rainforests, like the Amazon, are highly endangered due to their rich biodiversity. There is hope, however, as awareness and action are increasing. Overconsumption is a key driver of biodiversity loss, so individuals can make a difference by being mindful of their consumption habits.
Creating pro-biodiversity gardens and avoiding harmful insect repellents are small actions that can contribute to conservation.
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT ON PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY
The recent international agreement on protecting biodiversity, made in Montreal, is a significant step towards addressing biodiversity loss. Nations are now working on building their own national biodiversity roadmaps and strategies to protect biodiversity.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are interconnected, with both being classified as some of the most severe risks by the World Economic Forum. Climate change serves as a direct driver of biodiversity loss, alongside large-scale modifications of natural environments, unsustainable use of species, pollution, and invasive alien species. Biodiversity loss has implications for agricultural productivity, and diverse ecosystems are more resilient to changes.
OCEANS PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN BIODIVERSITY
Oceans are crucial for biodiversity, with a vast array of species and interactions, yet our understanding of ocean biodiversity remains limited. Protecting endangered species and ocean ecosystems, such as coral reefs, can lead to recovery and improved conditions.
Tools for protecting biodiversity, and biodiversity hotspots include environmental education, creating protected areas, restoring degraded ecosystems, increasing funding for conservation, and taking individual actions such as leaving parts of gardens untouched for nature. The rapid implementation of tools to combat biodiversity loss is important to protect life and ensure a sustainable future for the current and future generations.