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Change systems or face global ecological collapse, says global biodiversity assessment report

Change systems or face global ecological collapse, says global biodiversity assessment report

Unless drastic action is taken to change economic and social systems, the world will have to face ecological collapse and mass extinction of species, according to a comprehensive global assessment report released today by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biological Diversity. and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The IPBES report is the world's most comprehensive scientific assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services submitted to governments for approval, exposing the main causes and agents of the global collapse of biodiversity while claiming urgent changes to the rules and regulations.

The time has come to stop talking about differentiated crises, be it climate or biodiversity - and which is more serious[1]- We need to face them all at the same time as one, totally changing the system, according to the evaluation made by Friends of the Earth International.

The report is blunt on the dire state[2] of the natural world and the fact that it is "human actions" that have significantly altered nature in much of the world. The report says:

“Human action is currently threatening more species with extinction than ever worldwide. Around a million species already face this threat, many within the next decades, unless actions are taken to reduce the intensity of the agents that cause the loss of biodiversity ”.

The report makes a compelling case for the need for "transformative change", including changing global financial, social and economic structures. It rightly holds the main players accountable: industrial agriculture and fishing, infrastructure works, mining, energy extraction, logging, plantations and large-scale bioenergy, along with unlimited growth and excessive consumption. All to benefit a few while poverty, violence, conflict and increasing environmental degradation multiply for the majority. Unfortunately, despite its strengths, the report does not go far enough.

Nele marien, program coordinator for Forests and Biodiversity at Friends of the Earth International, explains:

“This report is a new and timely reminder that we face closely linked environmental and social crises. We can build a better world and stop the collapse of biodiversity, but that requires nothing less than a radical system change that desists from the failed capitalist economic system based on unlimited extractive growth, profits and inequality. We have to end all systems of exploitation: colonialism and neocolonialism, patriarchy and racism ”.

Kirtana Chandrasekaran Coordinator of the Food Sovereignty program of Friends of the Earth International, adds:

“The report is bold and relentless when it describes the agents responsible for the collapse of biodiversity, but to confront those agents we have to name them and confront the actors and power structures that sustain them, especially the immense power of big business. There is overwhelming evidence of its central role in destroying the environment, peoples' rights, and democracy. Large-scale agriculture is rightly blamed as one of the main culprits. The report should be the final nail in the coffin for the agribusiness-driven food system. It is a burden that we do not need, it does not feed us. It is destroying our world and causing enormous social conflicts ”.

The report acknowledges the critical role agroecology plays in transforming food systems, but it does not go far enough. It does not reflect the fact that agroecology requires social, ecological, economic and cultural transformations that break with the control exercised by agribusiness, putting power in the hands of peasants and small food producers that nourish 70-80 percent. hundred of humanity. This means rejecting bogus agribusiness solutions like “sustainable intensification”, which include GM crops and their pesticide package.

The report recognizes the central role of indigenous peoples and local communities in the first line of defense of ecosystems, protecting biodiversity, often in the midst of conflicts over land and in confrontation with the enormous power of business. It confirms that “Conservation managed by local communities and indigenous peoples is more effective in preventing deforestation and habitat loss than officially protected areas.

The report also confirms that there are currently more than 2,500 conflicts over fossil fuels, water, food and land all over the planet and that at least 1,000 defenders of the territories and journalists were murdered between 2002 and 2013.

“We need urgent protection of the collective rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including access to and control of their common assets and their own sources of livelihood. We must also learn from their ways of life and knowledge systems ”,He saysRita uwaka, Coordinator of the Forests and Biodiversity program of Friends of the Earth Africa, based in Nigeria.

Karin Nansen, President of Friends of the Earth International summarizes:

“We welcome the fact that this report is the first of its kind that emphasizes structural issues, systematically examines and includes the knowledge, issues and priorities of indigenous peoples and local communities, and calls for transformative change. Changing systems is the only thing that can prevent ecological collapse. This can only be achieved by empowering people in all areas, including agroecology, small-scale fisheries, and community energy. In particular, Indigenous Peoples and local communities must enjoy sovereignty to manage their territories, including declaring their territories free from development projects. It is essential to preserve their rights and physical integrity at all times ”.

Friends of the Earth International will actively defend these postulates in the post-2020 process, which will define biodiversity policies for the next decade within the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UNFCCC and the UN Committee on World Food Security

Media contacts:

Karin Nansen, President of Friends of the Earth International, Uruguay:
+598 98 707 161
[email protected]

Kirtana Chandrasekaran, international coordinator of the Food Sovereignty program, Friends of the Earth International
+44 7961 986956
[email protected]

Nele marien, international coordinator of the Forests and Biodiversity program, Friends of the Earth International
+32 488 65 21 53
[email protected]

Rita uwaka, Coordinator of the Forest and Biodiversity program of Friends of the Earth Africa, Nigeria.
+234 803 455 3503
[email protected]

Friedrich Wulf, campaigner for Biodiversity International, Friends of the Earth Europe
+41 79 216 02 06
[email protected]

For general media inquiries:

Amelia collins
[email protected]
+44774097970

Notes to editors:

[1] Various references in the media over the last six months, about the climate and biodiversity crises:
1) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/03/stop-biodiversity-loss-or-we-could-face-our-own-extinction-warns-un
2) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nature-destruction-climate-change-world-biodiversity_n_5c49e78ce4b06ba6d3bb2d44
3) https://news.ku.dk/all_news/2012/2012.1/biodiversity/

[2] Additional data from the report, on the state of the natural world:
"75% of the earth's surface is severely altered, 66% of the oceanic area experiences accumulated increasing impacts and more than 85% of the wetlands have been lost"
"The global biomass of wild animals has decreased by 82%."
"An average of approximately 25% of the species in the evaluated fauna and flora groups are in danger of extinction."
"The coverage and condition of natural ecosystems has decreased by 47% on average."

Source: Friends of the Earth

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