EU Green Week 2020 - Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. This web of living things is the heart of nature, cleaning the water we drink, pollinating our crops, purifying the air we breathe, regulating the climate, keeping our soils fertile, providing us with medicine, and providing many of the basic building blocks for industry.
Yet, we are losing nature like never before
All scientists agree - we are losing nature like never before, in all parts of the world. This loss is closely linked to climate change, and is part of a general ecological crisis. The effects of biodiversity loss are already here and they will get worse if the trend continues.
So why are we losing biodiversity?
Habitat loss, over-exploitation, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species all contribute to biodiversity loss. But the underlying cause is unsustainable human activities. Our demand for new resources is driving deforestation, changing patterns of land use, and destroying natural habitats all around the globe.
In Europe, the main cause of biodiversity loss is land-use change. Farming and forestry practices have become more intensive, with more chemical additives, fewer spaces between fields, and fewer varieties of crops. This lack of variety means far fewer insects, for example, and consequently fewer birds.
Cities and urban areas have also expanded enormously, leaving less room for nature. And when farmland and urban developments leave no room for nature, the result is a loss of biodiversity.
EU Research and Innovation policy agenda for Nature-Based Solutions & Re-Naturing Cities
Final Report of the Horizon 2020 Expert Group on Nature-Based Solutions and Re-Naturing Cities