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Brain Circuits

Biodiversity matters to business: What’s to be done now 

IbyIMD+ Published 22 May 2024 in Brain Circuits • 4 min read

Companies should aspire to restore and renew biodiversity as an investment in the future. Here are five actions for a more sustainable business agenda.

Biodiversity loss is as much an existential threat as climate change, with significant impacts on the economy and business. We have already lost 69% of species in the past 50 years, and one million more are threatened with extinction. Every year, we only replace half of the forests we cut down. Over a third of our fish stocks are being over-fished. By 2050, we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean.

Ecosystem services — the services provided by nature — are essential to our economy, contributing to over half of global GDP, or $44tn every year. Consider nature’s direct contributions and what’s at stake if something happens:

  • Three-quarters of our critical food crops, worth between $235-577bn, depend on animal pollination.
  • Overfishing threatens food supplies (158 million tons in 2019) and the jobs of the 59.5 million people globally employed as fishers or fish farmers.
  • Half of all approved modern drugs were developed from wild species, and 85 of the 175 small molecules used to fight cancer are either natural or derived from wild species.
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