You might be wondering why the numbers have gone back, haven’t we just had cop26?! Certainly confusing, but this COP is taking place under the convention on biological diversity as opposed to the climate. Whilst the two are linked in a number of ways, the main objective of COP15 is to bring key countries together to agree on several policies and create an action plan for preserving biodiversity around the world. The main focus of COP26 on the other hand was to set the standard for reducing global warming.
We’ve already seen the first round of COP15 happen last year, this was done virtually and set out to create an initial framework. Starting on the 25th of April a new round of in-person talks will begin in China (The first in-person talks in over two years), this round hopes to finalise the framework and elevate the protection of biodiversity to the same level as the climate.
Why is preserving biodiversity so important?
We owe everything to our balanced eco-system and with humans being the root cause of the loss of biodiversity across our planet, we believe we hold a responsibility to preserve all forms of life. Whilst the impact of the loss of biodiversity may not be seen immediately, the knock-on effects can be enormous. A well-known example of this is how micro-plastics are passed up through the food chain in the sea, resulting in the poisoning of many different species including ourselves. Led poisoning across animals in the British countryside is another example of how unexpected actions can have knock-on effects. We certainly aren’t in favour of sport hunting, with years of lead bullets being used thought to have reduced the bird of pray population by 13%. This can happen for example when a dear carcass shot with a lead bullet is left for birds of prey to scavenge the contaminated meat.
How is it linked to climate?
There are many ways in which they are linked, the most obvious way is in how trees and coral reefs for example are key in reducing the amount of C02 in our atmosphere. Maintaining biodiversity in these areas is therefore of huge impotence to maintain them.
Looking at ourselves and into the futureThe UK has one of the most depleted biodiversity systems in the world with only 53% remaining, this is in large part due to the industrial revolution. Nonetheless, it still makes for a scary figure, with the global average at 75% and 90% being the safe space!
With the second part of COP15 on the horizon, the hope is to set out an actionable and measurable road map to reversing the damage done to our eco-systems, which should not only help preserve our wildlife, but also work towards cutting the rate of global warming back.