Bending the curve on biodiversity

Large scale disasters such as COVID have brought home to human societies the realization that something new is happening. There is mounting consensus that continued exploitation of natural resources will inflict considerable instability on the vital life support systems upon which our societies and economies depend. Restoring nature no longer is an altruistic act, yet it is becoming an act of enlightened self-interest. In Leclère, Obersteiner, et al. (2020) we use an ensemble of land-use and biodiversity models to demonstrate how- humanity can reverse the declines in terrestrial biodiversity caused by habitat conversion. We show that immediate efforts, consistent with the broader sustainability agenda but of unprecedented ambition and coordination, could enable the provision of food, fuel and fibre for a growing human population while reversing the global terrestrial biodiversity trends.

This will require actions of sustainable production and consumption. But what does this mean in practice? Michael will explore the potential of land sparing food production measures co-evolving with shifts towards improved human diets. We will discuss a range of options for policy actions that will need to be taken to bend the curve on biodiversity.