Biodiversity includes many issues and areas that are crucial to the living conditions on earth – everything from clean air and clean water, raw materials and food production to genetic variation, inspiration for technical solutions and cures for diseases.
Biodiversity is a collective term that encompasses all the variation in species and habitats that exist on earth and forms the basis for many ecosystem services to function. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity defines the term as: “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”. The aim of the Convention is to preserve and use biological diversity in a sustainable way, while distributing profits through the use of genetic resources in a fair way. Sweden signed the convention in 1993.
The fact that the area is large and complex is maybe the reason why it has not received as much attention as climate change. Climate change is a driving force for the loss of biodiversity, so work done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can also be seen as work to preserve biodiversity.
Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
In recent years, investors have increasingly begun to pay attention to biodiversity. One reason for this may be a report presented by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) 2019 on the state of the world’s biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The situation is described as serious or very serious. More species than ever in human history are threatened with extinction and many ecosystems are changing rapidly. The report points out the following five major driving forces behind the loss: 1) Destroyed habitats, 2) Exploitation of species through fisheries, agriculture and forestry, 3) Climate change, 4) Invasive species and 5) Pollution.
IPBES is an independent intergovernmental organization that was formed in 2012 and more than 130 nations are members. Its role is to provide policy makers with objective scientific assessments of the planet’s biodiversity, its ecosystems, and the contributions they make to us humans. IBES is therefore often referred to as the ”IPCC for Biodiversity”. (IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is UN’s climate panel that produces scientific data for governments.)
The Council on Ethic’s engagement
Over the years, the Council on Ethics has been involved in various dialogues that address different problem areas in biological diversity, including deforestation and chemicals. The Council on Ethics plans to increase its involvement in biological diversity in 2021.