A gist of a 40 page summary of a report put together by the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has revealed the huge role of humans in destroying the ecosystem which forms the very basis of their existence.
In mankind’s never ending quest for food and energy to support the highly increased population of today’s times, vast forests have been cleared, vast stretches of wetlands have been lost, large areas of soil have been degraded and huge declines in insect populations noticed around the globe. Millions of plant and animal species now face extinction.
The speed and scale of decline in nature is a great cause for worry as per the report. To make matters worse, there has been a huge increase in volume of non-biodegradable wastes being emptied into the waters around the globe.
One of the major drivers for this is the changed usage of land wherein large forests and grasslands are being cleared for agricultural purposes. The second is divesting the oceans off their marine life for satiating human hunger. A combination of such uninterrupted exploitation, pollution and climate change are endangering the species and the natural ecosystems.
If mankind does not wake up to this on-going deterioration of nature the negative effects will not stop.
The study has broadly laid down some options that need to be undertaken by governments on an urgent footing which they call as ‘transformative change’.
Recall of financial incentives for activities that cause harm to the biodiversity, substituting the GDP by a more holistic approach for calculating economic wealth are two major components of the advocated change.
Climate change the report stated was the third main driver for nature decline, following the exploitation of land and sea.
The concept of undertaking transformative action has to be filtered down to the individual level too in addition to governmental intervention. One of the most significant ways of making this possible according to the study was through politics.