Civil society is becoming aware of the devastating consequences for our planet that the irresponsible behavior of our governments and large companies is causing.
During 2020 it is essential that all people, and especially the youth, unite to demand immediate and forceful actions from the rulers to stop the loss of biodiversity that threatens the lives of a million species and our very existence.
Political leaders and scientists from around the world meet in October in Kunming, China, to confront that the loss of biodiversity has not been stopped as they had promised. Now is the time to take the necessary measures to ensure the survival of the ecosystems that guarantee life on planet Earth and that produce the air we breathe, the water we drink, our food, and which are the most effective tool to combat the most devastating aspects of climate change.
Ecologists in Action launches the campaign "Without biodiversity, there is no life" with the certainty that information is power, and that this is the year in which the appropriate steps must be taken to make nature conservation a reality. For this, the Spanish Government and the rest of the nations of the world must act together and correct the current course, leading us towards a hopeful and possible destiny. And we need your voice.
We are losing biodiversity, why?
In May 2019, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released the conclusions of its report on the state of global biodiversity, and the data is alarming. The rate of extinction of species is accelerating faster than expected, and without a profound change in the way we function as a society, the circumstances necessary to restore and protect our natural heritage will not exist.
The IPBES report states that at least 1 million species of animals and plants are currently threatened with extinction. This figure is the result of the analysis of the known records of species cataloged on the IUCN Red List, and its extrapolation to the different calculations and statistics that estimate the total number of species existing on Earth. The problem is serious. We must solve it.
Without insects there is no life
Insects represent 60% of existing animal species, and the rapid decline in insect populations is a clear indicator of the magnitude of the problem. Ecologistas en Acción, in collaboration with the Spanish Society of Entomology, wants to highlight the importance of taking measures for the conservation of insect species as a key tool for the conservation of biodiversity and to achieve a greater sensitivity of society about the ecological importance of these species.
90% of the flowering of wild plant species depend on animal pollination, mainly insects. In addition, pollination through insects is essential for agriculture, and the disappearance of pollinators endangers our diet.
Due to its geographical location, its peninsular character and its biogeographic vicissitudes, the Iberian Peninsula is one of the territories with the greatest diversity of arthropods in Europe and one of the richest areas in insects, although its state of conservation is unfortunately unknown.
Pesticides threaten insects and human health
Spain is the leading European country in the consumption of pesticides, a fact that is especially worrying if we take into account the relationship between pesticides, the loss of biodiversity, especially insects, and human health conditions. Half of the insect species are declining rapidly and at least a third are in danger of extinction, the impact of this loss on the environment being catastrophic, since insects are essential for the functioning of ecosystems and the production of food, being responsible for much of the pollination of crops.
For this reason, Ecologistas en Acción actively participates in the European Citizens' Initiative (ICE) to progressively reduce the use of pesticides. The objective of this initiative is to achieve one million signatures throughout the European Union to get the European Commission to regulate the reduction of the use of synthetic pesticides by 2035.
Protect our natural spaces
Since the 1980s, the declaration of protected natural spaces has been increasing substantially in Spain, reaching in 2018 32.82% of the total area of the country, 16,613,036.7 hectares. However, a large part of these spaces do not have adequate management and sometimes not even effective management plans.
This is favoring that a good part of the protected areas are not proving sufficiently effective in the fight against the ecological emergency, both in the face of the loss of biodiversity and climate change. Ecologists in Action considers it essential to create measures and tools that make protected areas become essential allies in the objective of putting a stop to the ecological emergency we are facing.
World Summit on Biodiversity
2020 is destined to be a historic year in the fight against the loss of biodiversity. In 2010, the countries that formed the Convention on Biological Diversity committed to halting the loss of biodiversity by 2020, approving the Strategic Plan for Biological Diversity 2011-2020, which includes the Aichi Targets. In addition, the European Union adopted this objective as its own, and approved the European Strategy for Biodiversity. Given that this objective is already evident that it will not be met, due to the passivity of the administrations (Spain is a clear example of how some countries have not taken any specific measures to try to meet it), in October 2020 in Kunming, Yunnan , China will hold the COP15 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
COP15 has among its priorities to review the achievement and results of the Strategic Plan for Biological Diversity, or in other words, analyze whether it has been possible to stop the loss of biodiversity by 2020 and what have been the causes of the results obtained. But also, and even more importantly, this COP will approve the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which will mean the new biodiversity goal. For Ecologistas en Acción it is essential that this new goal, in addition to being ambitious, should be binding. But beyond the agreements that governments may adopt, it is clear that economic interests will continue to be the ones that determine policies, which is why it is essential that in addition to binding agreements, there is a social mobilization that forces governments to adopt the necessary measures.
Climate change and loss of biodiversity
In recent years the fight against climate change has acquired an important public relevance, something that we have always sought from the environmental movement, however in this relevance the intimate relationship that exists between climate change and the loss of biodiversity is being underestimated. Both threats have among their indirect causes the same unsustainable economic model of production and consumption, climate change is one of the five main causes of biodiversity loss; but also the destruction of biodiversity is exacerbating climate change. For this reason, from Ecologists in Action we consider essential that the media focus is on the ecological emergency, that the administrations adopt really effective measures to stop the loss of biodiversity and climate change, and especially that there is a powerful social mobilization that demands the change of model that grips both the climate and biodiversity.