The boreal forests (also known as the Taiga) experience some of the harshest conditions of any forest, and yet support robust ecosystems capable of significant biological activity.The boreal forests are excellent “carbon sinks”, not because of the extensive forests but because of the frozen and waterlogged soils that cover the biome.Unfortunately, rising temperatures due to climate change is weakening the boreal forests’ ability to store carbon.
Right on the heels of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD COP15) took place in Montreal, Canada between December 7th and 19th.
In 2015, a seminal Lancet report suggested that “anthropogenic climate change threatens to undermine the past 50 years of gains in public health” In the summer of 2016, a 12-year-old boy died after being exposed to anthrax spores from a frozen reindeer carcass that had been uncovered by thawing permafrost The climate crisis, habitat destruction, and our globalised food production systems all increase uncertainty when considering the future of disease. How we prepare for the changing disease landscape will therefore be decided by how we manage these causes.
Coral Reefs only take up 0.1% of the ocean floor. Despite this, coral reefs host over a quarter of the ocean’s inhabitants and support over 500 million people globally Coral reefs are facing serious threats from climate change
Marine ecosystems provide an array of benefits or ecosystem services to the global human population including climate stability, carbon sequestration and cultural meaning Marine organisms also play a crucial role in absorbing carbon, thus helping to mitigate the nocive effects of climate change. Ocean restoration and conservation measures will indirectly aid in climate mitigation by reducing ocean warming
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international treaty that aims to conserve biological diversity, ensure the sustainable use of biological diversity, and share the benefits of it in a fair and equitable way.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent non-profit organisation that seeks to set a recognised standard for sustainable fishing and therefore limit overfishing in the ocean’s wild fisheries. Through its ‘blue-tick’ label on seafood products and its Theory of Change, the MSC hopes to encourage a healthier and more productive seafood market. However, the organisation has faced a multitude of criticisms over its effectiveness and practices in recent years. The MSC was first established in 1996 as a collaboration between the WWF and Unilever, following a collapse in cod populations in North Atlantic fisheries MSC certified products have to pass two Standards in order to carry the blue tick label: the MSC Fisheries Standard and the MSC Chain of Custody Standard Over 20,000 seafood products are sold with the MSC label, but many environmentalists and organisations have questioned the effectiveness of the certification approach
Temperate forests represent a significant resource and perform important ecosystems services,but are threatened due to agricultural expansion, climate change and deforestation The FSC certification imposes several rigorous criteria covering conservation and sustainability, as well as human rights, but it does not always ensure that forests are not negatively impacted The EUTR prohibits illegally-harvested timber from being commercialised in EU markets but gaps in implementation by Member States diminish its effectiveness
The Cartagena Protocol sets out a precautionary approach to the trade of GMOs with the goal of protecting global biodiversity The Protocol gives importing countries the right to reject GMO goods on environmental or health concerns It was the first international agreement to formalise the cross-border movement of GMOs
The climate and biodiversity crises are interconnected. By becoming “nature positive”, humankind would enhance its resilience and simultaneously reduce GHGs. “Nature positive by 2030” means not only immediately halting biodiversity depletion, but also restoring nature and becoming net positive by 2030.