Biodiversity matters

Today marks the opening of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan. Ten years ago member states pledged to stem the tide of biodiversity loss. By all accounts they have failed. Now, they are back at the drawing board, attempting to find ways to save the diversity of life on Earth. The US is one of three nations that is not a member of the CBD.

Biodiversity provides a number long-overlooked advantages to humanity, including food production, pollination, medicine, carbon sequestration, and clean water among other benefits. A recent study by The Economics of Ecosytems and Biodiversity (TEEB) found the cost of biodiversity loss to be $2-5 trillion per year, a cost that is mostly felt in developing and poorer countries.

 Lizard seen from the underside of a leaf

Silhouette of a lizard in Costa Rica. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2008.

Spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) Picture Title: Spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela aurulenta)

Spotted tiger beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) in Malaysian Borneo. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2008.

Baobabs (Morondava)

Baobabs in Madagascar. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

Large Orangutan in Central Kalimantan

Orangutan in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.

White, yellow, and green anemone

Anemone. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.

Author: jlhance

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