The importance of biodiversity
Biodiversity is the diversity of plants, animals and other living things on Earth. From the smallest microorganism to the largest mammal, biodiversity forms a web of life, creating the ecosystems we live and depend on to survive, and provide us with food, drinking water, medicine and many other important ecological services.
Biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate – 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the rate of natural extinction, due to problems like habitat destruction and climate change. The loss of biodiversity has had devastating effects on local and indigenous communities around the world, who depend on it for a living. We must respect and reproduce biodiversity, and this means respect for flora and fauna and also respect for people. Consider that:
- 7,000 species of plants are consumed by humans for food
- 17% of all plant species are used for medicinal purposes
- 70% of the world’s poor live in rural areas and depend on biodiversity for survival
Companies can contribute to biodiversity conservation
Through their sourcing activities, companies can assist with biodiversity conservation and regeneration and demonstrate how biodiversity-based products can be used sustainably. The Ethical Biommerce Standard describes practices for this purpose. For instance:
- Practices that reduce biodiversity loss, such as restricting deforestation for crop or collection operations, protection of endangered species, and strict regulations on chemical use Agriculture.
- Biodiversity regeneration activities, such as flower strips, fences, pollinators protection projects, organic practices and other contributions to natural ecosystems.
The importance of biodiversity for business
With consumers’ increasing interest in natural products, companies increasingly realize their ability to innovate and sell these desirable products depends on preserving diversity. biology like. They are working to improve their impact on biodiversity along their supply chain not only because of consumer expectations, but because there is a strong business case for sourcing. .
These sustainable trends coincide with new international and national rules (such as rules of access and benefit-sharing, or ABS) on the use of biodiversity for research and development. These rules require companies to obtain permission prior to biodiversity research to innovate products and share the benefits obtained from this research with countries and local stakeholders that have used it. biodiversity in sourcing areas for many generations.
Today, ethical sourcing of biodiversity is increasingly high on corporate agendas in the beauty, food and pharmaceutical sectors, with leading companies making a strong commitment. to respect and reproduce the diversity of life on Earth.