Can Cop 15 deliver on biodiversity? 7 Dec

Today, the UN secretary-general warned that humanity was ‘treating nature like a toilet’ and that the degradation of the ecosystem would cost the world $3tn annually by 2030, as the COP15 biodiversity summit kicked off in Montreal.

‘The loss of nature and biodiversity comes with a steep human cost,’ said António Guterres in a speech on Tuesday. ‘A cost we measure in lost jobs, hunger, disease and deaths’.’[i]

‘The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals, protists and fungi inhabit the Earth. So, too, do 7 billion people.’[ii]

The U.N. hopes to persuade all countries to pledge to place at least 30% of their land and sea areas under conservation by 2030. Currently, only about 17% of the world’s land area has some kind of protection and less than 8% of the oceans.

Among all the bad news . . . At least the Labor government seems concerned about our biodiversity loss even if the public don’t. A survey of 4,000 people across Australia conducted by the new Biodiversity Council found 60% of respondents believed nature was in a good or very good state.[iii] How on earth can people think this!! They are either ill informed, completely ignorant and/or probably don’t care that much.

‘There are twin crises that we face – the biodiversity crisis and the climate crisis – and one of them gets a hell of a lot more attention than the other . . . While individuals care immensely about nature, most don’t really understand we have a biodiversity crisis.’ Brendan Wintle, a professor of conservation science, is being generous I think.[iv]

Here, on the Mid North Coast, it is an ongoing battle to save Koala habitat among others.

Invasive species are one of the five main drivers of biodiversity loss, according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, along with land-use change, resource extraction, the climate crisis and pollution. Then there is greed and stupidity. July 3 1844, the last two known surviving Great Auks—large, flightless birds that bred on the rocky, isolated islands of the North Atlantic—were killed by three men from Scotland for collectors.

We share evolution with all life forms, all are our cousins and deserve life.

Meanwhile summer is here:

Wyn, Shelly Beach

See my posts – Gardens are important for biodiversity

Gardens are important for biodiversity

and Biodiversity, the Kunming Declaration overnight, Oct 14, 2021

In a previous agreement signed in Aichi, Japan, in 2010, governments agreed on 20 targets to try to slow biodiversity loss and protect habitats by 2020, but none of those targets was met at a global level. Australia only met one out of the 20 targets.


[i] Alice Hancock, ‘COP15: UN warns of the cost of ‘humanity treating nature like a toilet’’, Financial Times, 7 Dec 2022.

[ii] Bradley J. Cardinale, et al., ‘Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity’, Nature, vol 486, 6 June 2012.

[iii] Lisa Cox, ‘Tanya Plibersek to launch Biodiversity Council to help save Australia’s threatened animals and plants’, Guardian, 7 Dec 2022.

[iv] Quoted by Lisa Cox.

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