| Una vita bio

Protecting biodiversity, for the benefit of all of us

Without the services that the ecosystems offer daily we couldn’t have the development and the wealth that our society enjoys: from water cycle to soil regeneration, from climate stability to the cycle of essential elements like carbon-nitrogen-phosphorus, from the use of natural resources for drugs-fibers-wood to the variety of food sources. Conscious actions are required to stop the dangerous unprecedented loss in biodiversity that we are experiencing and that regards mankind’s future. Because biodiversity is the basic structure that guarantees the daily life’s balance. An encouraging signal (although still a small one) came from the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the UE’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), that closed last November 29th in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, with an international agreement to save the natural systems in view of the post-2020 plan, when the strategic plan for the protection of the planet’s biodiversity approved in 2010 will be updated. Only the “New Deal”, as WWF calls the new agreement between mankind and the Planet, will be able to stop the loss in biodiversity, provided that it is fair and respectful of every population’s rights, especially those of the local communities that defend the network of life. The 196 governments that subscribed to CBD must implement strong protection measures and stop the current trend. The recent “Living Planet Report 2018” by WWF shows in its Living Planet index that from 1970 to 2014 there was a 60% decrease in the number of vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes). Not to mention insects. The update of IUCN’s red list (IUCN being the international union for the protection of nature) showed that out of 96.000 species examined, over 26.000 are endangered. Most of the countries of the convention are resigned to lose the preservation targets established by Aichi, in Japan, in 2010. But we can’t quail. «The world must become aware about the risks that losing biodiversity implies. Without a healthy and vital nature we have no future chances of development and wealth. All the involved parties – governments, economy and citizens – have to act right now to get a chance to create a sustainable world for all of us. To do this, a close vision and a strong political will are mandatory», states Marco Lambertini, General Manager of WWF International. Next CBD’s Conference of the Parties, the 15th, will take place in Beijing, China, in 2020. The aim is reaching a “ Paris-style agreement” for biodiversity, as it happened for the climate. Fondazione La Raia, in its own small way, has devoted to this crucial topic the book “Alla scoperta della Biodiversità” (“Discovering biodiversity”), written and illustrated by Renato Cottalasso, naturalist, photographer and ornithologist (fondazionelaraia.it).

Giuliana Zoppis