Biodiversity A Key Player in Tackling Climate Change

While climate change has been at the forefront of political discussions for the past decade or so, biodiversity has not received the same level of attention. One reason for this could be that the effects of climate change (*), such as floods, droughts and wildfires are more visible, while the loss of biodiversity is not as easily noticeable.

What exactly is at stake if we fail to protect the planet’s biodiversity? Biodiversity includes all types of plants, animals and micro-organisms, as well as the enormous genetic variation within those species and the variety of ecosystems in which they exist, and the interactions between them. The more diverse an ecosystem, the better it is equipped to withstand shocks and support life. The biodiversity in an ecosystem act as a buffer against, for example, increasingly severe weather conditions such as extreme drought or enormous rain showers.


Loss of biodiversity therefore not only means the disappearance of species of animals and plants, but also endangers the food supply, health and safety of humanity. While people tend to recognize the gravity of the situation when bees are threatened, the loss of biodiversity often goes unnoticed until it reaches a critical point. Unfortunately, by the time we start to see the loss, it’s often too late to take effective action.


Despite the adoption of the ’30 by 30’ target at the Biodiversity Summit in Montreal in December 2022, which aimed to protect 30% of the planet’s biodiversity by 2030, there has been little follow-up action since the summit. This is concerning given the critical role that biodiversity plays in the fight against climate change and suggests that the issue of biodiversity protection may not be receiving the attention it needs to help address this urgent global challenge.


The main cause of biodiversity loss remains human use of land, but climate change is playing an increasing role in the decline of biodiversity. The destruction of ecosystems undermines nature’s ability to protect against extreme weather events, accelerating climate change and increasing vulnerability to it.


Therefore, it is essential to tackle both crises together and consider measures that work for both climate and biodiversity. Economic development, conservation of biodiversity, and landscape restoration can go hand in hand. We need to consider climate and biodiversity together and always take them into account when making decisions about land use.


One way to promote biodiversity is to recognize the rights of nature. Nature should be seen as having its own independent right to exist, regardless of what it means to humans. We must let nature sit at the table and promote its interests, ensuring that natural cycles are respected. This would mean that the use of natural resources can be determined while preserving biodiversity.


Bonaire is home to trees, such as the Wayaka’s on Plantation Bolivia, that have been standing for hundreds of years – some for over 700 years. Off course they have a right to exist in their own right. They have been an integral part of Bonaire’s ecosystem for longer than the oldest Bonerian families. As such, it crucial that we recognize and respect the rights of these trees and other elements of nature to exist independently of their value to humans. Furthermore it is our responsibility to ensure that they are protected and preserved for future generations to appreciate.


In conclusion, the importance of biodiversity in the fight against climate change cannot be underestimated. We need to tackle both crises together and consider measures that work for both climate and biodiversity. We must recognize the rights of nature and ensure that natural cycles are respected. Let us practice ethical behavior and do the right thing even when doing the wrong thing is legal.

(*) BES climate impact atlas

Let’s fight for legal rights for Plantation Bolivia.