(Bio)diversity and sustainability
Conservation of biodiversity is one of the main challenges today. A higher degree of biodiversity results in ecosystems that can withstand adverse conditions and better provide essential ecosystem services. This is the case for both agricultural and natural systems.
Stop the trend of exploitation
Still, globally speaking, human well-being has increased while many ecosystems are degrading. This paradoxical situation is related to global trade flows and social inequity. Overall, people in high-income regions benefit from unsustainably exploiting natural resources in low-income regions without paying the costs.
Solutions are diverse and layered
In the Liveable Planet project, we pay attention to diversity in:
- Ecological footprints: for example, people of modest means in the global South have smaller footprints than wealthy people in the global North, but also within the North significant differences exist between social groups.
- Costs of nature protection: for example, communities in Asia and Africa, living close to ‘biodiversity hotspots’, often pay high costs in terms of damage and injuries caused by wildlife and restricted access to natural resources.
In research on sustainability, it is important to focus on a diversity of aspects - environmental, social, and economical - to find solutions for biodiversity loss and to reduce inequity.