680. Five Major Factors Affecting Biodiversity
The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity is currently underway, and it is reported that world leaders are in talks to reach an agreement to reverse the loss of biodiversity.
Today, we review the five major causes of the nature crisis and biodiversity loss as identified in the Global Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
１：Changes in land and sea use
４：Direct exploitation of natural resources
５：Invasive alien species
According to the report, the largest contributor to biodiversity loss is people's use of land and sea. This includes the conversion of forests, wetlands, and other natural habitats to land for agriculture and urban use. Since 1990, around 420 million hectares of forest have been converted to other land uses. Among these, the expansion of agricultural lands is considered the largest cause of deforestation, forest degradation, and loss of forest biodiversity, with agriculture alone estimated to be a threat to 85% of the 28,000 species threatened with extinction. Mineral extraction from the seabed and urbanization also affect the natural environment and biodiversity.
According to an article previously introduced here in Pick Up, there seems to be a view that the global trend of agricultural land expansion has passed its “peak”. While the trend of shrinking grazing land is observed in arid and temperate regions, arable land is still expanding globally, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South America, where land use continues to expand, especially as population and income growth is expected to put pressure on the land. From the standpoint of biodiversity conservation, increasing crop yields and agricultural productivity in tropical regions is extremely important. And to do that, it is necessary to invest in technology development.
Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program)