Biodiversity loss, development crisis?
Biodiversity — the variety of life on Earth — is being lost at increasing and alarming rates. To date, this has been treated as an environmental problem. Yet the so-called biodiversity crisis is also a development crisis. Biodiversity loss threatens to undermine hard-won development gains, including in health, resilience, food security and GDP earnings. Poor people are particularly dependent on biodiversity — both to meet day-to-day livelihood needs and to enhance resilience to climate change and other threats. So they are hardest hit by its loss, especially when coupled with climate change. In 2020, the international community will agree a new 10-year strategy for biodiversity management. Ensuring this works for both biodiversity and for people requires much more coordinated thinking and action than has happened to date. It is time for the development community to step up to this challenge and engage in the debate.