Biodiversity Protection Through Reward, Technology Transfer, and Improving Governance
Biodiversity supports the water bodies, food systems, medicinal plants, thereby sustaining the livelihood of billions of people. According to World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risks Report, around one million species are threatened to extinction in the next ten years. Approximately $44 trillion of economic value generation (over 50% of global GDP) is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services (WEF 2020). The same report further indicates that switching to a nature-based economy could generate 400 million jobs and a business of US$ 10 trillion per year by 2030.
Biodiversity loss means the extinction of plant and water species from land and water, which could greatly impair the livelihood of millions and the global economy. Human behaviour and lack of recognition of the importance of biodiversity for a sustainable future have resulted in biodiversity loss in both land and water. Living Planet Index shows that biodiversity declined by more than 70% between 1970 and 2020. According to the IUCN red list of threatened species, 40,000 species from the total assessed species of 142,577 are threatened to extinction. It is estimated that around 25% of the marine species live in a coral reef, which covers only 250,000 square kilometres of ocean and provides livelihoods to millions is under threat (Burke et al. 2012). Between 1990 to 2020, 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through human activities (FAO and UNEP 2020). Though deforestation has declined to 10 million hectares per year between 2015-2020 compared to 16 million hectares per year in the 1990s, it is still a significant threat to the species in the forest and planet earth (FAO and UNEP 2020).
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) 36,000 species of plant and animal has been included with different level of protection (CITES 2020). However, the number of endangered species traded rose from 61,241 to 1,299,284 in 2015, which marginally declined to 1,163245 in 2018.
Therefore, the G7 has to uplift the game of conserving biodiversity and ecology to save only one planet. With this end in view, it is recommended that the G7 announce that “biodiversity conservation will be included as one of the central pillars of trade and development through reward mechanism” at its Elmau Summit. As G7 has the resources, technology, market power to reward and punish countries, communities, and individuals that protect and conserve biodiversity and natural capital in the global north and south, G7 is the right platform to take leadership and initiative towards this agenda. Those communities and individuals who protect and conserve biodiversity and natural capital should receive preferential treatment in trade, investment, and grants/aids, while the countries, communities, and individuals responsible for the destruction of biodiversity and ecology should be treated contrarily. Finally, develop capacity and governance in the global south on biodiversity and nature conservation.