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Top 10 biodiversity articles everyone should read in 2024

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By illuminem

· 6 min read

We are proud to present our curated list of 'Top 10 essential biodiversity articles' in 2024 as part of our Carbon Academy.

At illuminem, we take pride in calling ourselves the "Home" of Sustainability and support our community with quality information and resources to improve our climate knowledge and stay updated on the latest sustainability developments. 

So, why is it important to understand biodiversity? 

Biodiversity is indispensable for ecosystem stability, human health, and climate regulation. Our understanding of it is the foundation for effective conservation strategies, sustainable business practices, and informed government policies. This comprehensive list encapsulates key aspects of the biodiversity debate: biodiversity credits, nature conservation, environmental justice, policy, biodiversity monitoring, and concrete steps businesses can take to foster a more nature-positive strategy. 


1. ‘Taking the pulse of the planet’: could we monitor biodiversity from space as we do the weather?

Source: The Guardian | Patrick Greenfield
Date: February 2024
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

Scientists now propose using satellite data and ground technologies to track Earth’s changing ecology. This multibillion-dollar international scheme would help safeguard resources and monitor biodiversity, much like weather systems do. Countries are developing biodiversity observation networks (BONs), which could be combined globally to measure progress on international targets. However, data gaps exist, especially in the tropics and deep seas. Improved monitoring and new technologies like eDNA can help us understand and protect ecosystems, but require global cooperation as biodiversity transcends borders.


2. Biodiversity: Can extinctions be stopped?

Source: Deutsche Welle | Michel Penke
Date: May 2024
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

Humans are pushing countless species to extinction. This article explores the effectiveness of conservation measures as around 30% of assessed species face extinction due to habitat destruction, pollution, and hunting. Current extinction rates far exceed natural background rates, and are mostly driven by human activity. Conservation efforts have seen some success, but data gaps and ineffective methods remain challenges. Global cooperation and innovative technologies are essential for reversing biodiversity loss and stabilizing ecosystems.


3. Biodiversity – whose business is it anyway?

Source: illuminem | Kate Handley
Date: May 2024
Knowledge level: Professional 🧠

As declining biodiversity threatens health, food security, and quality of life, businesses, with $44 trillion of economic value tied to nature, face risks from ecosystem collapse–loss of biodiversity impacting production yields and increasing climate-related risks. Some of the indirect risks include regulatory changes and technological advances aimed at reducing biodiversity loss, which can lead to legal and reputational damage. Companies managing their nature-related risks will only meet growing expectations and future regulatory requirements. 


4. Businesses must do more to protect biodiversity: Here are key steps to a nature-positive future

Source: The World Economic Forum | Anna-Maria Fyfe Hug
Date: May 2024
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

Business leaders must scale up actions to protect nature, this article offers sector-specific insight and guidance for industries like household and personal care products, cement and concrete, and chemicals. Following  The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework companies should aim to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. Investing in a nature-positive economy could unlock $10.1 trillion annually and create millions of jobs. To achieve this, global cooperation and innovation are necessary to effectively contribute to biodiversity conservation. 


5. Thematic Report on Biodiversity Disclosure Initiatives

Source:  European Commission | Directorate General for Environment
Date: May 2024
Knowledge level: Professional 🧠

With the increasing recognition of the importance of biodiversity for business, the demand for disclosure of corporate biodiversity performance is growing. Several biodiversity disclosure frameworks, regulatory and voluntary, have been published or are under development. EU Business and Biodiversity Platform has developed this report with a focus on biodiversity within a variety of disclosure initiatives and highlights the major differences and similarities. The report covers 6 biodiversity disclosure initiatives, three of which are regulatory (e.g. CSRD and SFDR) and three have a voluntary character.


6. Who pays the price for the loss and damage of nature?

Source:  iied | Nora Nisi, Dilys Roe
Date: May 2024
Knowledge level: Professional 🧠

The UN’s climate change loss and damage fund looks at damage to biodiversity. This resulting report compiles the principal insights and key findings that emerged from an online dialogue on the role that unsustainable consumption plays in the loss and damage of nature. It brings together a variety of stakeholders from across the nature, economics, loss and damage, policy, practitioner and finance landscapes to share their perspectives, opinions and ideas on the topic.


7. Are biodiversity credits just another business-as-usual finance scheme?

Source: Mongabay | Shreya Dasgupta
Date: March 2024
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

There is an emerging innovative finance scheme to support biodiversity conservation: voluntary biodiversity credits. This article takes a critical look at these purely voluntary investments in nature. Are they any better than carbon credits? Indigenous and environmental groups fear they might be misused for offsets, similar to the voluntary carbon credit market. Critics also question the private sector's demand for such credits and doubt their sustainability as a global solution. While these projects could financially benefit Indigenous and local communities, lack of land rights and unjust contracts, must be addressed first.


8. ‘I want people to wake up’: Nemonte Nenquimo on growing up in the rainforest and her fight to save it

Source: The Guardian| Alex Clark
Date: May 2024
Knowledge level: Beginner 💨

“If we continue on this path of little by little destroying forests, destroying rivers, destroying air, the consequences are going to be awful for humans and cultures around the world, for all forms of life. And I want people to wake up.”The Indigenous campaigner won a historic legal victory to protect Waorani land in the Amazon rainforest. Now she has written a groundbreaking memoir.


9. Placing the planet first: why we still got it all wrong

Source: illuminem | Susana Gago
Date: November 2023
Knowledge level:  Beginner 💨

Human civilization, despite its brief existence, has profoundly shaped the world, often prioritizing profit over planetary health. As environmental crises escalate, we should rethink our priorities. The article stresses the urgent need to prioritize the planet over short-term gains and individual interests driven by capitalism and consumerism, which have led to climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. It's essential to place the planet first without sacrificing human prosperity. Gago urges us to reassess our values and take decisive action now.


10. Crimes that affect the environment - the landscape of criminalisation

Source: illuminem | John Scanlan
Date: May 2024
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

John Scanlan speaks as someone who has spent their entire career working across a wide spectrum of environmental issues. In this article he introduces a comprehensive analysis of environmental crimes and legal frameworks across 193 countries, covering areas, such as deforestation, pollution, and wildlife trafficking. What is the state of effectiveness of penalties, compensation mechanisms, and the integration of restorative justice? Going forward, Scanlan calls for more international collaboration and robust measures to address environmental crimes effectively.

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