“We need to change our relationship with nature”

Established in 2012, IPBES, which has 140 member states, is the IPBES biodiversity equivalent for climate Ann Larigudere, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services explains. Its experts, who met in May in Montpellier, work on topics related to biodiversity and the contributions it makes to human societies. explanations.

French national anthem: During the first week of May, more
More than 80 experts from 50 countries gathered at Ipbes in Montpellier. why?

Anne Larigauderie: Because the city hosts a mini-secretariat for the Tribune of 34 people. It will be financed partly by Ippes and partly by the University of Montpellier, with the support of the Occitanie region, the ministries, Agropolis Montpellier. For three years, researchers will be working on a new report: The Question of Transformational Change.

In 2024, during a plenary session, the results of the Montpellier team will be presented. The topic covered by these researchers is very ambitious.

what is it called “ transformative change » ?

AL: The work that began in Montpellier follows the Global Biodiversity Assessment presented in Paris in 2019. It concluded that there is a real need for profound change, called transformative change, in our economies. Our financial systems, our ways of thinking, our value systems in relation to nature. Finally, everything that affects nature and what needs to be rethought. Because as long as we continue to believe that the environment is an inexhaustible source of resources at our service, we will not be able to fundamentally change the way we work.

The 2019 Global Biodiversity Report was very worrying ?

AL: Yes. One of the main conclusions of the report, a total of more than 15,000 scientific articles, was that we are witnessing a decline in nature and biodiversity at a speed and on a scale unprecedented in human history. If nothing is done to reverse this negative trend, 1 million plant and animal species out of a total of 8 million are threatened with extinction. This number struck the consciences of the world. The report provided information on the causes of biodiversity loss. Degradation of nature such as deforestation is one of the first causes of this loss, the second is the direct exploitation of natural resources, and the third, climate change. Fourth: Pollution in all its forms, pesticides, heavy metals, excessive use of fertilizers and plastic…

How does the disappearance of biodiversity endanger humanity?

AL: We’re talking about the impact of biodiversity loss on nature’s vital contributions to societies, that is, all the functioning of the ecosystems that make our lives on Earth possible, which we don’t necessarily realize. For example pollination. In some areas that have overused pesticides, in Asia for example, where pollinators have disappeared, crops are no longer possible, especially anything related to fruit production, like apples for example. If there are no more pollinators, the flowers will not be pollinated and there are no more apples. In some parts of China now, the Chinese are importing bees, in small cages, and releasing bees into the environment. They also pay people to climb trees with little brushes, and do the work of pollinating bees, from flower to flower. A system of little drones is also being developed there, to do the work of bees … Biodiversity is not just a matter of a cute, somewhat attractive species that disappears at the other end of the world and so it’s a little sad and we go on with our lives as if nothing had happened. What you have to see is that the impoverishment of the living world is happening everywhere, in all regions of the world, including the oceans, and little by little we are reducing the capacity of our living system and our environment, to be able to support us humanity.

Are the transformational changes you were talking about
Back to productivity?

AL: We have to rethink people’s consumption habits. Governments have asked experts to imagine what different scenarios and visions of a sustainable world might look like, and to design the societal transformations necessary to get there. This does not necessarily mean less consumption, but better consumption, repair, and all this is starting to fall off.

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