Biodiversity: Nature as a Giant Library

Nature’s services to humanity, know also as ecosystem services, have an estimated value of $33 trillion – nearly twice world economic output. Biodiversity underpins and mediates many benefits that people obtain from ecosystems—protecting, restoring and sustainably managing ecosystems is critical to any efforts to promote sustainability and ensure an equitable world.

But ecosystems and biodiversity are under threat. Over the past 30 years we’ve seen a 30 per cent decline in the world’s biodiversity – more than double in the tropics. According to the High Level Panel on Global Sustainability, two-thirds of the services provided by nature to humankind are in decline.

“Nature is filled with successful solutions to challenges, any one of which can transform medicine and industry. Nature is a giant library, and we ought to treat it like we treat all the other great libraries,” said Thomas Lovejoy, Chair of the Global Environmental Facility Scientific and Technical Assessment Panel, during a panel discussion at the Forum.

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