Biodiversity crisis affects billions who rely on wild species, researchers say

Biodiversity crisis affects billions who rely on wild species, researchers say

Billions of people around the world rely on some 50,000 wild species for food, energy, medicine and income, according to a new scientific report that will result in humans having to make dramatic changes in hunting and other practices to end the biodiversity crisis. To speed up.

The report, prepared for the United Nations by 85 experts from 33 countries over a four-year period, is the most comprehensive view of ways to sustainably use wild species, or in ways that sustain these resources. The reduction cannot be caused. Guarantees their existence for future generations. It refers to thousands of scientific studies and other references, including one branch of internal and local knowledge. Indigenous and poor communities have been most affected by the increased use of forest species, the report said.

“Half of humanity uses and uses wild species, and often even without realizing they do it,” said Marla R. Emery, a co-director of assessment, conducted by International Science. Done. Policy Platform on Price Diversification and Ecosystem Services. A summary was approved by representatives of seven countries, including the United States, in Bonn, Germany, on Thursday, with the full report set to be released in a few months.

Yet the focus of this latest assessment was to provide a more optimistic view on how wild species can be used consistently by people around the world, said Jean-Marc Frentin, who is also a co-director.

One-third of the wild species that humans use in some way, and that also appear on the “top list” – those listed as a threat by the International Union for Conservation of Nature – are stable despite human use. Or experience a growing population trend. One study was mentioned in the report. It suggests that “the use of these particular species still does not directly contribute to their disappearance, as far as we can tell,” said Sophie Marsh, a Master of Biodiversity student at University College London and the threat species. Lead author of the study on. Which was published in 2021.

The report says that original and local knowledge is crucial for learning some of the best practices for sustainable use, but traditionally it has been used sparingly. Local communities have long incorporated sustainable use of forest species into their cultural practices, and it is estimated that about 15 percent of the world’s forests are managed as “community resources”, the report said by local people and local communities. .

The report points to practices such as those used in the mountains of the Cordillera region of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. There, “the whole community is moving to protect the forest,” said Victoria Tully Corpus, a local rights activist who grew up in the area. This practice is called Batangan, a resource management system that monitors forest diversity and has a sense of responsibility for planting new trees as the old ones age.

It’s not just about trees, “it’s about water, plants and animals, microorganisms,” and increasingly, it’s about climate change because forests play an important role in carbon sequestration. , Ms. Tawley Corpus said.

The report says that the continued use of wild species is central to the identity and existence of many local communities.

“If wildlife disappears, our culture is in danger, our lives and our livelihoods are in danger,” said Viviana Figueroa, a leading Argentine lawyer and activist who spoke to the report’s authors. As part of her engagement with the internal forum. About biodiversity. “There’s still a lot of work to be done, but there’s at least some recognition,” Ms. Figueroa said.

Future policies governing the use of wild species must take into account the social and historical dimensions of sustainability, and whether the benefits of using them are fairly distributed. For example, Vicona fibers, found in luxury clothing, are produced at high prices and by many low-income local communities in South America that allow animals to graze on their social or private lands. Allow grazing.

For a remote Indian community, it is “almost impossible” to negotiate with a global textile company or place its product on the global market, meaning that the business of Wicona Fibers is out of the question, the report said. Most of the profits are taken by traders. And textile companies.

The report suggests that the fishing industry will need to reduce irregular and illegal fishing, support small-scale fishing and push for harmful subsidies that encourage more fishing. The logging industry will also need to invest in technology that reduces waste in the production of wood products, according to the report’s findings, and governments may promote wild meat bans or regulations in some areas, at the same time this assessment Determines whether these policies may affect food security in these areas.

The findings of the new report could soon have a direct impact on global policy. The report was conducted in part at the request of the International Trade Convention on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an agreement to ensure that the international trade in wildlife and plants threatens their survival in the wild. Does not face. The parties to the agreement will use the assessment findings to inform their decisions on trade at their conference in Panama in November.

Excessive extraction of wild species is not the only factor leading to depletion; Man-made climate change is also a major force, the report said. The growth of the human population and consumption, despite the technological advances that make most extractive practices more effective, will put more pressure on wild species.

“We need to make sure that these policy tools benefit everyone,” said Emma Archer, a professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and one of the leading authors of the assessment. “It doesn’t have to be both winners and losers.”

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