Dozens of scientists met on Monday to discuss ways to combat the decline of species and the degradation of ecosystems in Belgium. They exchanged their points of view with representatives from the region, responsible for nature conservation. The conference, which was held in Brussels, was organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It was created in 2012 on the basis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has shown the world the dangers of the greenhouse effect.
Last March, IPBES presented four alarming reports about the state of fauna and flora in the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe-Central Asia. Their conclusions were unanimous: biodiversity remains under the pressure of human activities worldwide (intensive agriculture, climate change, pollution, invasive species, etc.). As a result of these publications, 270 Belgian scientists called on the authorities to take urgent measures.
"Conservation of biodiversity must be integrated at all decision-making levels and translated into political objectives," said Professor Mark Rounsevell (University of Edinburgh), who chaired the Europe-Central Asia report. As one of the possible solutions it evokes motivated agriculture, a change in the modes of production and consumption, a better awareness through education, etc.
"We need action on the field," adds Hilde Eggermont, IPBES coordinator in Belgium.
In Europe and Asia-Central, the size of wetlands has been halved since the 1970s. In ten years, more than 40% of the known species of terrestrial animals and plants have been degraded.
According to scientists, the situation is urgent. Loss of biodiversity influences the ability of nature to contribute to the well-being of humanity through the benefits of ecosystems such as food, water, wood, air purification and pollination.