Biodiversity

Insects: nature’s underrated pollinators

We often view insects as pests, invading our picnics or homes and sometimes even stinging us. But their ecological importance, although often overlooked, is vast.  Insects are the most common animal on the planet, with 1.5 million species identified. They are the reason that humanity is sustained as we know it – they pollinate many of the flowers, fruits and vegetables that…

Otterly alarming: toxic chemicals found in Britain’s favourite top predator

River Otter sitting on a rock

What’s Going On Here? A recent study revealed high levels of PFASs (Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) in the livers of otters. PFASs are known as ‘forever chemicals’ as they don’t break down easily. Instead they accumulate in humans and animals and persist in ecosystems. PFASs are powerful chemicals responsible for the grease and water-resistant properties of a variety of products, from non-stick…

Post-Brexit biodiversity plans incite concern

tomatoes growing on a farm, with farmer in the background

What’s going on here? Under the EU, BUnder the EU, British farmers received grants through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Following Brexit, the government has promised to introduce the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS), consisting of: The Sustainable Farming Incentive, Landscape Recovery and Local Nature Recovery schemes. ELMs promises the restoration of 300,000 hectares of land 2042 by paying farmers and landowners…

Nearly 20% of tropical forests threatened by overlapping extractive industries

What’s Going On Here? A new study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and WWF has revealed that around 20% of intact tropical forests overlap with extractive industries, mining, oil and gas projects. This overlapping area amounts to 975,000 km2, almost equivalent to the size of Egypt! What Does This Mean? Tropical Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) are defined as continuous patches of forest…

Can we slash the rate of extinctions with a UN Agreement?

What’s Going On Here? Plans for new UN targets to curb biodiversity loss have been shared in draft by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.  Biodiversity, and the benefits it provides, is fundamental to human well-being and a healthy planet. Despite ongoing efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to continue or worsen under business-as-usual scenarios. What Does This…

G7 aka the Greedy7: how the world’s wealthiest countries are driving tropical forest destruction

What’s Going On Here? Consumer choices in the wealthiest countries have been revealed to be largely responsible for tropical forest deforestation. The groundbreaking study, published on Monday, is the first to map and quantify   the “deforestation footprint” of individual countries on an international scale.  What Does This Mean? The global demand for tropical forest-related commodities is continuing to rise, including coffee,…

Putting a price on our planet: Independent review urges government, business & citizens to value the natural world

What’s Going On Here? In 2019 the UK’s Treasury commissioned The Dasgupta Review: an independent, global review of the Economics of Biodiversity led by world’s leading economist on ecology, economic, growth and development, Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta. The landmark review published on Tuesday addresses both concerned citizens (that is you, me, and your neighbour!) and governments to change how we think, act,…