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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

slide2
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

slide4
Biomes

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

Millennium ecosystem assessment

Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

slide5
HumanFootprint

Source: Wildlife Conservation Society

slide6
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

slide7
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)

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)

slide12
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 2005Availability 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

slide14
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

slide16
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

slide17
Hard Agricultural Choices (i)

Cereal production evolution

Source: NRC, 2008/Henoa and Baanante 2006

slide19
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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