Biodiversity is beautiful. And biodiversity is a happiness and mental health booster. Thus, how beneficial is it that one of the solutions to the climate crisis is increasing biodiversity everywhere, in yards and communities across the globe, even on the small tiny postage stamp-sized specks of land that are often found in front of townhomes.
Nations across the globe met virtually in Kunming, China for COP15’s Kunming UN Biodiversity Conference Part 1, October 11-15, 2021. At the conclusion, the Kunming Biodiversity Declaration was adopted and spells out the global aspirations for the next 9 years. Part 2 of the conference will take place in April of 2022, and is projected to be in person, at which time the participating countries will sign an agreement similar to the Paris Agreement, that will address biodiversity, nature, and the environmental side of the climate action coin.
The only country not participating in the biodiversity conversation at this time is the United States.
“Addressing the challenge of halting ongoing losses of species and genetic diversity and the damage to our ecosystems will determine the well-being of humanity for generations to come,” [CBD Executive Secretary, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema] says. “Protecting nature’s invaluable contributions to people requires that we harmonize our policies and actions at every level. The global biodiversity framework, based on the best available science and evidence, is fundamental to meeting these needs.”
Decision-making in the planning & development offices in each and every town in the world will either be working in alignment with the global biodiversity goals, or will be working against it. The choices are binary. In or out.
The following are the 8 key takeaways of the Kunming Biodiversity Conference & Declaration:
- 30% of land and sea must be protected
- Reduction in rate of invasive alien species being introduced to new habitats
- Nature-based carbon drawdown goal should be 10 gigaton of carbon per year, and all planting efforts should avoid harming nature
- Reduction in nutrients lost to the environment
- Reduction in pesticides
- Elimination of plastic waste
- No incentives that are harmful to biodiversity, and reducing them by at least $500 billion per year (ie fossil fuel subsidies)
- Increased financial resources for projects that address these targets from all sources to at least $200 billion per year
The global push to immediately address our biodiversity crisis must be acted upon if we want to save the human species. The US may not end up being a signatory on to the Biodiversity Agreement in spring 2022 (believed to be because of our extensive use of glyphosate), but the American people can still be all in on transitioning our toxic monoculture lawns, to biodiverse no mow lawns.
The United State has 40 million acres of pesticide-covered monoculture yards with no biodiversity. Mowing our grass for 1 hour creates as much carbon emissions as driving 650 miles. This is no longer acceptable. HOAs must adjust bylaws and covenants quickly.
The following are two essential books that will help readers understand the science behind the importance of transitioning our yards to biodiverse no mow:
∙Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy, 2007
∙Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy, 2020
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✦ By Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO Gallant Gold Media, Founder & Executive Director Climate Action NOW, author and climate journalist