Climate change and biodiversity loss

We urgently need an interoperable, global unit of account for biodiversity for all stakeholders to work together to preserve the ecology of Earth.

In the 21st century, Earth is experiencing species loss so abrupt it has been dubbed the ‘sixth mass extinction event’ (2). In 2022, over 196 nations agreed to take urgent action under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), to conserve at least 30% of the Earth’s surface by 2030 — focusing attention on high-risk biodiversity ecoregions to prevent catastrophic species collapse (3, 4). Yet we know from the science of project management and the history of megaprojects that this effort can only succeed if we agree on how to measure our success (5, 6).

Biodiversity accords both lag, and benefit from, lessons learned in carbon accords. While climate is tracked through global average temperature changes, carbon emissions are quantified through metric tons of CO2. As yet, biodiversity action and tracking have suffered because there is no such agreed-upon unit (7).

There is a simple solution to this problem, but the simplicity relies on a frameshift, applying a multidisciplinary approach, and eliminating ideological differences in favor of shared aims.

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