biodiversity tagged posts

Five key takeaways from the UN biodiversity summit

The world’s nations have reached a historic agreement to protect the world’s biodiversity. After two weeks of negotiations, what is officially known as the Kunming-Montreal Global biodiversity framework was passed early on Monday. Here are five key takeaways and memorable moments from the conference.

1. 30% and rising

The 30 x 30 pledge is the central pillar to this agreement – countries agreeing to protecting 30% of land and water by 2030.

Not securing agreement on this key ambition would have been a deal breaker for the whole agreement.

Even before the meeting started in Montreal more than 100 countries had signed up. 

So during the talks when there were suggestions the pledge might be watered down, the nations championing 30 x 30 were quick to push back.

“We cannot af...

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One million species face extinction, U.N. report says

Plastic waste

One million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, with alarming implications for human survival, according to a United Nations report released Monday.

The landmark report by seven lead co-authors from universities across the world goes further than previous studies by directly linking the loss of species to human activity. It also shows how those losses are undermining food and water security, as well as human health.

More plants and animals are threatened with extinction now than any other period in human history, it concludes. Nature’s current rate of decline is unparalleled, and the accelerating rate of extinctions “means grave impacts on people around the world are now likely,” it says.

In a prepared statement, Robert Watson, a British chemist who serve...

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The Coral Triangle ‘greatest repository of marine life’

coral triangle

When it comes to abundance of species, nowhere else comes close to the waters between the Pacific and Indian oceans. Nestled between the Pacific and Indian oceans is a marine region deemed to be the richest biologically, in the world. Home to three-quarters of the world’s coral species and over a third of its coral reef fish species, it is the underwater equivalent of the Amazon jungle.

It is half the size of the United States and bordered by six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and East Timor – to form a triangular shape that gives it the name, Coral Triangle.

A new book, The Coral Triangle, by Ken Kassem and Eric Madeja, captures the rich life found above and beneath the water...

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Global Study Reveals New Hotspots of Fish Biodiversity

biodiversity density graph

Teeming with species, tropical coral reefs have been long thought to be the areas of greatest biodiversity for fishes and other marine life — and thus most deserving of resources for conservation. But a new global study of reef fishes reveals a surprise: when measured by factors other than the traditional species count — instead using features such as a species’ role in an ecosystem or the number of individuals within a species — new hotspots of biodiversity emerge, including some nutrient-rich, temperate waters.

The study, by an international team of researchers including graduate student Jon Lefcheck and Professor Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, appears in this week’s issue of the journal Nature.

Led by Dr...

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