Biodiversity loss has become one of the most pressing environmental challenges. We seem to have reached a point of no return, after having wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970s and half of the plants since the dawn of civilisation. Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Cristiana Pasça Palmer, said just prior to COP14 which has just ended in Egypt, we might only have two years left to set firm commitments for action on biodiversity loss if humanity is not to be “the first species to document its own extinction”.
The Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP14) kicked off the processes that will lead to adopting a post-2020 global biodiversity framework and update to the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. The New Deal for Nature is expected to be adopted during the fifteenth meeting in Beijing in 2020. The framework is regarded as a last call to address the underlying challenges of biodiversity and ecosystem loss. It represents an opportunity for decision-makers to join urgent efforts to transform approaches to use, safeguard, restore and invest in biodiversity.
Biodiversity losses profoundly affect agricultural productivity, food and other production-system resilience and dietary nutritional quality with negative consequences for producers, whose businesses can be profoundly affected by the poor quantity and quality of their yield. Instead, optimising and preserving agrobiodiversity represent nature-based solutions to address these challenges and translate into more reliable sourcing and stable production systems while also enhancing the nutrition of agricultural products and the sustainability of the farmers. We need a drastic change in consumers’ behaviour as well as serious government commitments to create an enabling environment and establish incentives for the many actors involved in the protection and management of ecosystems worldwide.