On 21 June, Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP, Chair of the “Biodiversity& Ecosystem Services” Working Group of the EP Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development” gathered stakeholders and policy-makers to discuss on: “Infinity War or a just transition? Joining forces for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) climate change and biodiversity targets” in the European Parliament.
Worsening land degradation caused by human activities is undermining the well-being of two fifths of humanity, driving species extinctions and intensifying climate change. It is also a major contributor to mass human migration and increased conflict, according to the world’s first comprehensive evidence-based assessment of land degradation and restoration adopted by 129 Member countries at the 6th Plenary Session of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
IPBES 6 held in Medellín, Colombia, in March 2018 further adopted four regional assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services covering the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Europe and Central Asia regions.
Land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change are three different faces of the same central challenge: the increasingly dangerous impact of our choices on the health of our natural environment. We cannot afford to tackle any one of these three threats in isolation – they each deserve the highest policy priority and must be addressed together. Land and ecosystem restoration can increase food and water security and contribute substantially to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change and could contribute to the avoidance of conflict and migration.
The assessment is a frank and urgent warning, with clear options to address dire environmental damage and achieve multiple benefits. This policy briefing aims at presenting the IPBES assessment to decision-makers and exchanging views with stakeholders to discuss options on how to achieve a just transition.