Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world
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Biodiversity: Policy Challenges in a Changing World. Natural Capital Initiative symposium: “Valuing our life support systems ” London Professor John Beddington Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government and Head of the Government Office for Science 29 April 2009. Global challenges.

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Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Biodiversity: Policy Challenges in a Changing World

Natural Capital Initiative symposium:

“Valuing our life support systems”

London

Professor John Beddington

Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government and

Head of the Government Office for Science

29 April 2009


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Global challenges

 Population

 Urbanisation

Alleviating poverty

 Energy demand

 Water demand

Climate Change

 Food demand

Biodiversity

Infectious diseases


Causes of degradation are stable or increasing

Causes of degradation are stable or increasing

Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Biomes

More than half of the 6/14 major world biomes had been converted by 1990

Millennium ecosystem assessment

Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

HumanFootprint

Source: Wildlife Conservation Society


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Extinction of species

Extinctions per thousand species per million

Future extinction rates estimated to be 10 to 100 times higher

Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

CBD 2010 biodiversity

target

  • 2002, Conference of the Parties of the

    Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 123

    Ministers committed themselves to:

    • ‘“.. achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction

      of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the

      global, regional and national levels as a

      contribution to poverty alleviation and to the

      benefit of all life on earth” (Decision VI/26)


Risks to ecosystems need to act

Risks to ecosystems – need to act

Source: IPCC AR 4


The situation may be worse than predicted

The situation may be worse than predicted

Arctic, near-ice free by 2030?

(Source: Wang and Overland, 2009)

Source: NSIDC 2007


Ocean acidification

Ocean Acidification

Changes in pH over the last 25 million years

Oceans are an important reservoir for CO2 with ~30% of CO2 produced from fossil fuel burning & land-use change taken up by oceans

(Sabine et al 2004)

  • Oceans will become: warmer; more acidic; less diverse; and over exploited

  • The impact on ocean food webs, ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles could be very serious

Source: Blackford & Gilbert 2007, Caldeira & Wickett 2003


Increases in global population and urbanisation

Increases in global population and urbanisation

Urban and rural populations of the world

(at mid-year) 1950 - 2050

World population, by region

Source: United Nations, World Population

Prospects: The 2006 Revision (medium scenario)

Source: United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects: 2008 (revision)


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Increased demand forfood and energy

World food requirements

World primary energy demand by fuel

Total world energy demands are predicted to increase by approx. 50% by 2030 (Source: IEA 2008: Reference Scenario)

World food production must rise by 50 % by 2030 to meet increasing demand (Source: UN 2008)


Availability of fresh water

Source: ABS 2005

Availability of fresh water

Fresh water availability per head of world population

Cubic metres of water

Source: UNEP, 2002

1 in 3 people are already facing water shortages

Source: Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture 2007

Total world water demands are predicted to increase by over 30% by 2030

Source: IFRPI


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Increased demand

50% by 2030 (IEA)

Energy

Climate Change

Food

Increased demand

50% by 2030

(FAO)

Water

Increased demand

30% by 2030

(IFPRI)

The Perfect Storm?


Solutions

Solutions?

  • Ensure value of ecosystems are taken into account when making decisions

  • New energy technology

  • Make hard choices about agriculture, food, energy and water

  • Better planning and management

  • Change behaviour, education and training

We recommend enhancing levels of taxonomic training and linking such training more directly to the ongoing measurement of biodiversity. Royal Society – measuring biodiversity for conservation, 2003


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Agricultural production

More people means less cultivated land per person

for food, feed, (agro)-fuel and fibre production

2030 – 8.3 bn people

2030 – even less farmland per person


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Hard Agricultural Choices (i)

Cereal production evolution

Source: NRC, 2008/Henoa and Baanante 2006


Agricultural productivity

Hard Agricultural Choices (ii)

Agricultural productivity

Source: Embrapa, Brazil


Biodiversity policy challenges in a changing world

Increased demand

50% by 2030 (IEA)

Energy

Climate Change

Food

Increased demand

50% by 2030

(FAO)

Water

Increased demand

30% by 2030

(IFPRI)

Key Questions

  • Can 9 billion people be fed equitably, healthily and sustainably?

  • Can we cope with the future demands on water?

  • Can we provide enough energy to supply the growing population coming out of poverty?

  • Can we mitigate and adapt to climate change?

  • Can we do all this in the context of redressing the decline in biodiversity and preserving ecosystems?

Biodiversity


Joint programmes

Joint Programmes

Joint Climate Research Programme


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