Liz AV, Gonçalves DV, Velo-Antón G, Brito JC, Crochet P-A, Rödder D


Although the climate crisis is interrelated with biodiversity loss, the decade-old targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have barely addressed climate change impacts (1). So far, the post-2020 Global Bio-diversity Framework continues to miss opportunities: The first draft, released in July 2021 (2), overlooks climate-biodiversity interactions and provides no explicit solutions to anticipate climate change-related risks. These issues persist after the latest input of scientific experts (3, 4). A post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework needs to include adaptation, not just mitigation, to achieve bio-diversity goals by 2050. Climate impacts (such as habitat fragmentation and ecological disruption) will escalate and interact with other destruction drivers (such as land degradation and over-exploitation) to constrain ecosystems’ integrity and functioning, which will threaten species survival globally (5). Disregarding these scenarios [as in Table 1 and Figure 1.1 in (3)] will likely compromise the CBD's efforts to pursue ambitious targets (e.g., protecting 30% of the Earth’s surface by 2030) and expand conservation dimensions by finally safeguarding genetic diversity. To make targets climate-resilient, forward-looking strategies need to be developed. Primarily, the expansion of protected areas (Target 3) should prioritize sites that can act as climate buffers, where pressures on species and ecosystems will be slowed down (6), and account for the adaptive genetic variation that can help species to cope with ongoing climatic and landscape alterations (7). Like-wise, the functional connectivity of protect-ed networks (Milestone A.1) should establish climatic corridors that can ensure species’ access to analogous future habitats (8). These strategies should incorporate measurable indicators to support their effective implementation and monitoring. Policymakers face a crucial year to make a meaningful and lasting impact on biodiversity conservation (9). The CBD’s experts will meet again in June to provide their final recommendations to the post-2020 GBF. We call on the experts to advocate for a preventive biodiversity agenda which for once gets ahead of the climate crisis.


Journal: Science

Link: 10.1126/science.abo7381