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Biodiversity, a global threshold - Why preserving biodiversity should go hand-in-hand with climate mitigation in agro-ecosystems


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Richardson, Katherine (2010) Biodiversity, a global threshold - Why preserving biodiversity should go hand-in-hand with climate mitigation in agro-ecosystems. Lecture at: Agro-biodiversity and Ecosystem services, Washington DC, USA, 16th Dec. 2010.

PDF - Published Version - English

Online at: http://www.icrofs.org/Pages/News_and_events/2011_1_Agro_biodiversity_seminar_presentations.html


This presentation takes as its starting point the relationship between humans and global natural resources. Humans have always been dependent upon them. Only recently, however, has it become obvious that the demand for these natural resources and services is now approaching or exceeding their supply. Sustainability can be defined as using the natural resources we are dependent upon in the most efficient manner possible - also biodiversity.
Human activities have dramatically increased over the last approx. 60 years and these activities leave a fingerprint on many aspects of the Earth System. A large part of this fingerprint is the result of impacts caused by or related to agriculture.
The presentation presents a study in which an attempt is made to identify “Planetary Boundaries” that is to say limits for human impact on various components of the Earth System that should not be exceeded if we, as a society, want to minimize the risk of human activity pushing the Earth System out of the “Holocene” conditions (i.e. those that have the Earth has experienced in the last 12-15,000 years, when humans societies have blossomed).
The findings of the group suggest that humanity may already have transgressed 3 of the 9 identified boundaries, namely, rate of loss of biodiversity, climate change, and changes to the global nitrogen cycle. The safe operating space for biodiversity has been defined to an extinction rate of less than 10 extinctions per million species per year. It is estimated that this extinction rate is greatly exceeded (more than 100 extinctions per million species per year).
The presentation leads to a conclusion that with the challenge of the 21th century, i.e., to share the Earth’s resources among 9 billion people AND staying within the Planetary Boundaries, business as usual is not an option, and that also the agricultural approaches will have to change.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Lecture
Keywords:biodiversity, ecosystem services, climate change, global nitrogen cycle, extinction rate,
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Denmark > ICROFS - International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems
Denmark > KU - University of Copenhagen
Related Links:http://www.science.ku.dk/fakultetet/organisation/ledelse/kr_cv/
Deposited By: Rasmussen, Ilse
ID Code:18246
Deposited On:15 Feb 2011 07:23
Last Modified:15 Feb 2011 07:23
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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