To prevent catastrophic biodiversity loss bold conservation and restoration efforts are needed, according to a major new study led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
Biodiversity and ecosystems have been declining at an alarming rate for many years.
In their most recent report, the IIASA has highlighted that if current trends continue, then there will not be enough nature left to support future generations.
The study, which has been published in the journal Nature, states that for global trends of biodiversity to stop declining and start recovering by 2050 or earlier, action is needed in two key areas.
Firstly, bold conservation and restoration efforts must be taken together with increased management effectiveness. According to the researchers, without such efforts, declines in biodiversity may only be slowed down rather than halted.
The report also highlights that action is also needed to transform the food system. Efforts need to be taken to reduce food waste and to help encourage the population to transition to diets that have a lower environmental impact.
The researchers have highlighted that integrated action in both of these areas needs to be taken simultaneously.
Andy Purvis, professor at the Imperial College London, and researcher at the National History Museum in the UK said: ‘If unmitigated, emerging threats to biodiversity such as climate change and biological invasions may become as important as land-use change – the largest biodiversity threat to date – in the future.’
Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF added: ‘This study shows the world may still be able to stabilize and reverse the loss of nature.
‘But to have any chance of doing that as early as 2030 we will need to make transformational changes in the way we produce and consume food as well as bolder, more ambitious conservation efforts.
‘If we don’t do this, and continue with business as usual, we will end up with a planet that cannot support current and future generations of people.
‘Never has a “New Deal for Nature and People” that halts and starts to reverse biodiversity loss, been needed more.’
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