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209. Nature’s Contributions to Mankind


A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showed that understanding nature’s contributions to people and monitoring their benefits are crucial inimproving our ability to manage earth systems efficiently, equitably and sustainably. The paper reviewed the impact of the progress of environmental degradation over the last 50 years on human quality of life, and noted a declining trend in the potential for nature to contribute in the majority of material, nonmaterial and regulating contributions assessed. 

According to the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services published in 2019 by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the decline in biodiversity is caused by human activities in the following order of descending impact: (1) changes in land and sea use, (2) direct exploitation of organisms, (3) climate change, (4) pollution and (5) invasive alien species, indicating the impact of many agricultural practices. Although many developing countries are potential biodiversity hotspots, they do not have sufficient social adaptability to biodiversity loss and environmental degradation. JIRCAS aims to achieve both sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries and biodiversity conservation through technological development in developing countries.


Kate A. Brauman et al, Global trends in nature's contributions to people, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2010473117

IPBES (2020) Workshop Report on Biodiversity and Pandemics of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany, DOI:10.5281/zenodo.4147317


Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Research Strategy Office)

Note: Pick up articles will not be uploaded until January 13 due to migration of JIRCAS website content.