Freshwater Fish are in Trouble

Global threats for migrating fish

“​With hydropower, overfishing, climate change and pollution on the rise, populations of migratory freshwater fish species have plummeted globally by 76% on average since 1970, including a 93% collapse in Europe.”

93% collapse in migratory freshwater fish populations in Europe – new report

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EU Needs Human & Nature Friendly Farming

From farm to fork

What WWF will be looking out for in the EU Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies:
“On 20 May, the European Commission will publish the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy. These two strategies are key components of the European Green Deal, and will set out the main features of the EU’s biodiversity and food-related policies for the coming decade. The strategies must announce strong, ambitious plans to accelerate the transformation towards sustainable food and farming systems in Europe, and to protect and restore our nature for a healthier, safer environment, climate change action, and improved economic and environmental resilience.

The COVID-19 outbreak has shone a spotlight on the close interlinkages between healthy ecosystems and human health. With one million species facing extinction worldwide, the stakes have never been higher. WWF is urging the Commission to make these strategies strong, with ambitious and enforceable targets to reorient EU’s agriculture towards nature-friendly farming, proper fisheries management measures and announcing new restoration legislation to finally halt and reverse biodiversity loss.

“The recent pandemic has been a wake-up call that our society, economy and our own health are inextricably linked to the way we treat the natural world. It has never been more urgent to present an EU Biodiversity Strategy that can bring nature back for the good of people and planet,” said Sabien Leemans, Senior Policy Officer for Biodiversity at WWF European Policy Office.

“As the EU looks towards recovery, the EU Farm to Fork strategy could be a key tool in building a more sustainable, resilient food and farming system” said Jabier Ruiz, Senior Policy Officer for Food and Agriculture at WWF European Policy Office. “An ambitious Farm to Fork could be the push that finally turns the backward-looking Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) around.”

After the publication of both strategies, WWF will send a reactive statement to the media with a brief analysis of the main elements mentioned below.

What WWF is looking out for:

EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy
Europe is no exception to the biodiversity crisis. To finally halt and restore biodiversity loss by 2030, the Biodiversity Strategy must:

  1. Commit to keeping existing environmental policies strong and stimulate enforcement and implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the EU Timber Regulation and the Invasive Alien Species regulation.
  2. Commit to an effectively managed and connected network of protected areas, covering 30% of the EU’s land and sea and  to introduce a legally binding restoration target supported by a new EU law.
  3. Address unsustainable use on agriculture, fisheries, bioenergy and water management and by doing so, tackle the key drivers of biodiversity loss.
  4. Invest in nature and phase out conflicting funding.
  5. Take a leadership role globally by reducing EU’s footprint and advocating for an ambitious 2030 global biodiversity framework.

EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The EU Farm to Fork strategy must change the current silo approach to food-related policy making and accelerate the transition to truly sustainable food systems in the next decade. To do this, the Farm to Fork strategy must:

  1. Based on a long-term vision, set out ambitious quantitative targets for 2030 on key parameters such as organic and high nature value farming, fertilisation reduction, agrochemical use, GHG emissions reduction and carbon dioxide removal, as well as farmland biodiversity.
  2. Make a strong commitment to reorient the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its ongoing reform.
  3. Ensure EU fisheries and imports of seafood are fully transparent and traceable, and that fisheries controls are better applied.
  4. Develop and implement clear rules to ensure supply chains of agriculture products are free from deforestation and destruction of other ecosystems and human rights violations.
  5. Reduce high-footprint food production and consumption, including actions to accelerate the transition to healthy sustainable diets, an action plan on proteins and shifting away from industrial animal farming.”
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Who Opened the Pandemic’s Box?

Bat pangolin biodiversity and the pandemic Pandora's box

John Vidal writes in Ensia: “Destruction of habitat and loss of biodiversity are creating the perfect conditions for diseases like COVID-19 to emerge”:

“Increasingly, says Jones, these zoonotic diseases are linked to environmental change and human behavior. The disruption of pristine forests driven by logging, mining, road building through remote places, rapid urbanization and population growth is bringing people into closer contact with animal species they may never have been near before, she says.

The resulting transmission of disease from wildlife to humans, she says, is now “a hidden cost of human economic development. There are just so many more of us, in every environment. We are going into largely undisturbed places and being exposed more and more. We are creating habitats where viruses are transmitted more easily, and then we are surprised that we have new ones.”

Qui a ouvert la boîte de Pandore de la pandémie?

Qui a ouvert la boîte de Pandore de la pandémie?

Translation in French: Leïla Martin.

¿Quién abrió la caja de Pandora de las pandemias?

¿Quién abrió la caja de Pandora de las pandemias?

Translation in Spanish: Diego Pavón Jordán.

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World Migratory Bird Day 2020

World Migratory Bird Day

The theme of World Migratory Bird Day 9th May 2020 is “Birds Connect Our World” and was chosen to highlight the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural movements of migratory birds and that are essential for their survival and well-being.

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It’s the Anthropocene Baby!

ECCB2018 - Anthropocene

Many scientists think we are now living a new epoch, the Anthropocene. It is defined to be the Earth’s most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans.

The black & white version of this cartoon was made live during professor Will Steffen‘s plenary talk “Anthropocene, Planetary Boundaries and the Biosphere”. It was held on the 15th of June 2018 at the 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology ECCB2018 at Jyväskylä, Finland. I coloured the cartoon later.

Will Steffen’s talk can be seen here:

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