This blog post was originally published in Spanish by the Spanish NSS.
June is Environment month par excellence. In June we celebrate and promote actions in favour of its protection: we celebrate World Environment Day, World Oceans Day, World Sea Turtle Day, World Tree Day... with the goal of inspiring actions and creating global awareness of the need for conservation.
The management of our surroundings is of vital importance. With this in mind, the European Union has proposed a series of strategies, measures, commitments, objectives etc. in order for Europe to recover by 2030. The so called EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.
The EU’s Biodiversity strategy is a long-term plan to conserve nature and reverse the degradation of ecosystems. It is a fundamental pillar of the European Green Deal and of EU leadership. The following are some of the strategy’s main objectives:
- To make at least 30% of the Earth’s surface and 30% of the Earth’s waters into efficiently managed protected zones.
- To restore the EU countries’ degraded ecosystems and to reduce the pressure on biodiversity.
- To bring about transformative change. To improve governance of biodiversity and ensure that member states translate their commitments into national policies.
Biodiversity is necessary for life. Our planet and the economy depend on it. When nature is healthy, it protects and provides.
Biodiversity and ecosystems provide us with nourishment, health and medicine, materials, leisure and well-being. They filter air and water, they help maintain the climate equilibrium, they convert waste to resources, they pollenate and fertilise crops, and much more.
Losing biodiversity would mean:
- Climate issues: destroying and harming the ecosystems and the soil accelerates global warming, whereas the recovery of nature mitigates climate change.
- Business issues: natural capital provides fundamental resources for industry and agriculture.
- Protection and security issues: the loss of natural resources, especially in developing countries, could generate conflict and increase worldwide vulnerability to natural disasters.
- Food security issues: plants, animals - especially pollinators - and soil life play a key role in our food system.
- Health issues: the destruction of nature increases the risk of disease and reduces our ability to fight them off; by contrast, nature is beneficial for mental health and well-being.
- Issues of equality: the loss of biodiversity would mainly harm the poorest, which would worsen inequality.
- Intergenerational issues: we are depriving our children and grandchildren of the foundations for a good life.
Almost half of global GDP, some €40 billion, depends on nature.
The three nature-based sectors of the economy with the most weight are:
- Food and drink
These sectors depend massively on nature and generate more than €7 billion.
Information on the measures being taken by the European Commission to protect biodiversity can be found at the following link, as well as relevant documents, statistics, reports, videos, adopted measures etc.
Biodiversity is a valuable resource of particular relevance for work in Adult Education since it influences the quality of our daily lives (food, air, and water). Thanks to biodiversity conservation, people can improve their quality of life in more ecological and healthy surroundings.