Friday, 15 January 2010

Biodiversity or Bust.



There are many reasons for adopting small-farm agriculture, without pesticides and without GE technology... and to pre-empt those well-worn soundbites of the pro GM lobby it's not about ...'nostalgia or a yearning for a bygone 'green and pleasant land',, it's not about a 'sentimentalised attachment to cuddly animals,and wildlife,' and it's not about an 'idealised or luddite view of pre-industrial agriculture,' or 'antipathy toward technological progress.' IT IS about NECESSITY. I am talking about stopping biodiversity loss.

2010 has been declared International Year of Biodiversity,and according to the experts there is only one generation left to turn it around.
Turn what around, and why? A recent survey compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature,shows that one fifth of all known mammals, one tenth of all known birds,and seven out of ten plants are now classed as threatened.Loss of our flora and fauna is estimated to be as high as 1,000 times the natural rate as a result of human activities.In 1992 192 countries signed up to protect biodiversity at The Rio Earth Summit. Their target aimed to substantially reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010.

It's totally legitimate to try and save other species because we appreciate the richness of nature for its own sake,nothing more,nothing less.... although some might say that's just a luxury of rich nations.Not any more..Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf, the general secretary of the treaty, has been unprevaricating in declaring the lack of success of all the participants in achieving their target..and adds that 'business as usual is no longer an option.'
Dr Robert Bloomfield is the coordinator for the UK International year of biodiversity, which features talks, exhibitions, public dialogues, art work and citizen science experiments encompassing both science and the arts.He explains the urgency of this project very clearly,.and failure to achieve the targets for 2020 forsees a bankrupt world in all senses..
...."The equivalent to the Stern report for biodiversity is called
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). It warns that our neglect of the natural services provided by biodiversity is an economic catastrophe of an order of magnitude greater than the global economic crisis. Year on year, the irreversible loss of natural diverse genetic resources impoverishes the world and undermines our ability to develop new crops and medicines, resist pests and diseases, and maintain the host of natural products on which humans rely.
Equally significant, are the vital natural services that the world's ecosystems provide. These include providing vital oxygen, decomposing waste, removing pollutants, providing the natural buffers that help manage drought and flood, protect soil from erosion, ensure soil fertility, and provide breeding nurseries to maintain fish ocean stocks. The list goes on, and among these immeasurable vital functions of nature is of course its ability to absorb carbon dioxide. The ability of forests, bogs and salt marches, tundra, coral and ocean plankton to sequester carbon should be our greatest ally in managing the increased emissions of fossil fuel activity – a key theme of the
climate negotiations in Copenhagen last month.
Rather than seeing biodiversity and ecological mechanisms being eroded, we need to see a massive effort towards finding a more effective sustainable relationship between human society and nature. This is not a scientific or environmental issue, it is a social question and an ethical one about what our generation leaves for those in the future."(From "Biodiversity is not just about saving exotic species from extinction." Mon 11th Jan. 2010. guardian.co.uk)

1 comment:

jamblichus said...

Good informative post as usual Blatch. I may pinch some material from here for future blogging, as is my want~
J