Eight years ago, governments pledged to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Richard Black, BBC Environment correspondent, says it is clear that the pledge will not be met. Today the UN is launching the International Year of Biodiversity and promoting these messages.
- humans are part of nature’s rich diversity and have the power to protect or destroy it.
- biodiversity is essential for sustaining the living networks and systems that provide us all with vital services our lives depend on.
- human activity is causing diversity of life on Earth to be lost at a greatly accelerated rate; but we can prevent this loss
- achievements to safeguard biodiversity have been made but we need to do much more and we must act urgently.
The parallels with climate change are clear; growing awareness and tokenistic calls for government action. We ignore the natural world at our peril. It’s arrogance to assume that the planet will continue to provide when we don’t understand the force that drives it and are unable to replicate its life or beauty. We should respect a power that lies beyond our control but unfortunately most people don’t seem to think this way. Their narrow mindedness will sooner rather than later enforce lifestyle-changing effects on us all.