Today marks the International Day for Biological Diversity. It will not be a happy celebration but rather a day to call for reflection and promote urgent changes that stop the massive loss of biodiversity, a daily phenomenon which puts in doubt our own survival, at least as we know it.
On 6 May, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published a report where experts from 50 countries estimated that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades. The causes are mostly anthropogenic (caused by people) and therefore solutions will also have to be people-led.
If, for animal species, the imminent disappearance of the black rhinoceros and other symbolic species exemplifies what can happen, in the agricultural sector the situation is equally serious. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) estimates that, over the last century, more than 90% of the cultivated seed varieties have been lost, as well as half of the diversity of domestic animals for human consumption.