Everyone, on his own scale, can help save what can still be saved. This is the message advocated at the Sixth Session of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) . It gathered until Saturday, March 24, 2018 some 550 experts from more than 100 countries in Medellin, in Colombia . They submitted four reports on the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe-Central Asia. Their documents warn of the risks of a massive extinction of the species of the Earth, the first since that of the dinosaurs. Far from yielding to defeatism, they called everyone to act. "We are sabotaging our own future well-being! The good news is (…) that it's not too late!" argued the president of IPBES, Robert Watson
"We also need to change behaviors" he said. "There is no doubt that as individuals we must be responsible consumers of food, water and energy." The consumption choices of each have effects on the production of products. "It concerns us entirely (…) what we consume, what we eat, how we dress", repeated Mark Rounsevell, one of the co-authors of the reports. Adapting our daily diet could therefore help the preservation of the planet.
"It takes 25 kg of greenery to produce one kilo of beef protein (…) is a ratio largely ineffective" Watson said. Without advocating diets that ignore animal products. "We do not need to become all vegetarians!", Defends Mr. Watson. But a more balanced diet, less beef, more chicken and vegetables (…) can really help reduce the pressure on both climate change and biodiversity. " Cattle breeding is, indeed, one of the main emitters of methane (CH 4 ), the second greenhouse gas behind the dioxide carbon (CO 2 ). According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the warming effect of CH 4 produced in the gastrointestinal tract is 28 times greater than that of CO 2 over a 100-year period, and agricultural livestock would be responsible for 5.5% of total global emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, so it contributes on a global scale to global warming and the loss of biodiversity that results.
Intensive agriculture also directly affects local biodiversity. Mark Rounsevell lamented that Europe "subsidizes farmers to overproduce food at the expense of nature" . An alert that is part of a sad fact: about one third of world food production is wasted . The president of the IPBES has called "not too much to buy at the supermarket and then let it rot in your refrigerator" and reduce the portions in the restaurants so that leftovers do not end up in the trash . "Do not waste water, do not waste food, do not waste energy!" he said. "Do not let the water run when you brush your teeth, take reasonable showers (…) prefer public transport, turn off the light" when leaving a room.
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Action against global warming obviously can not escape the implementation of effective policies in this area. "What we need is sustainable production (…) of adequate funding, free of subsidies," said Watson, emphasizing the need to give up fossil fuels. " Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of IPBES, for her part, pointed out the inconsistency of certain policies: the preservation of the climate, to the benefit of the world, is sometimes to the detriment of local biodiversity. " By For example, we are designing biofuels to combat climate change (…). But if the surfaces put in culture to make them are at the expense of biodiversity (…), one creates another long-term problem "she warned.
Another co- author of the IPBES reports, Markus Fischer, calls for the mobilization of citizens: "We are consumers, we are citizens with the right to vote, parents (…) so we are ourselves decision makers (…) and these hundreds of decisions we make, can be more favorable to biodiversity, or not! " And it is these decisions that " build our choice of society and determine our future. " Combining global policies and local actions, here is the challenge of the fight against global warming.