Declining Biodiversity Putting Global Ecosystems ‘At Risk’
Global economics are dependent on biodiversity and ecosystem services that function at a high level, but a new report has just revealed that 20 per cent of countries around the world are now at risk of collapsing ecosystems because of a decline in biodiversity and other related beneficial services.
The Swiss Re Institute study – based on the organisation’s Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) Index – found that there are 39 countries that have fragile ecosystems on more than a third of their land. Israel, Malta, Bahrain, Cyprus and Kazakhstan have the lowest BES ranking.
BES services that countries are reliant on include water security, food provision and regulation of air quality, all essential for the maintaining of the health and stability of both economies and communities alike.
Both developing and advanced economics are at risk, with developing countries that are heavily dependent on agricultural sectors (such as Nigeria or Kenya) are susceptible to shocks from a range of different issues related to biodiversity and ecosystems.
South Africa and Australia are at the top of the rankings of fragile BES among G20 economics, with the impact of water scarcity a particular driver for both nations, as well as pollination and coastal protection.
Swiss Re’s group chief executive officer Chfristian Mumenthaler said: “This important piece of work provides a data-driven foundation for understanding the economic risks of deteriorating biodiversity and ecosystems.
“In turn, we can inform governmental decision-making to help improve ecosystem restoration and preservation. We can also support corporations and investors as they fortify themselves against environmental shocks.”
On 30th September, a United Nations (UN) summit on biodiversity was held, calling for urgent action to be taken on biodiversity for sustainable development, as efforts around the world to make improvements in this area have fallen well below targets set by the UN to halt biodiversity loss.
The Swiss Re BES Index was developed to help further understanding of this global issue, allowing governments worldwide to cross-compare and benchmark the state of the ecosystems that underpin their economies.
Businesses in England keen to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services can make a very good start in this regard by prioritising water efficiency and making changes across their sites to help protect this particular resource for future generations.
There are various ways in which you can go about saving water across your business, but the first step is to have a water audit carried out so you can see just how you’re using the resource and where. This allows you to identify potential areas for saving both water and money.
From there, you can start looking into water leak detection and repair, and the installation of automated meter reading to help you make even more savings in the future. Get in touch with the H2o Building Services team today to find out more.