According to a new report, it is necessary to shift to plant-based diets to reduce the environmental damage.
The main driver of biodiversity loss is the global food system, the new report says. To stop the destruction to nature, a shift towards plant-based diets is necessary.
According to Chatham House’s report, biodiversity is crucial for both human well-being as well as a healthy planet.
Researchers have revealed that agriculture is the main driver of this destruction. It threatens 86% of 28,000 species at high risk of extinction.
Researchers said that cheap food is the main cause of all this destruction.
Researchers warn that the low cost of food production can create a vicious circle, resulting in a need for more cheap food. However, this food must be made using intense and dangerous methods.
“The more food is produced at scale, the less food we eat, and the more we rely on a small number of crops grown intensively,” Tim Benton (Chattah House’s research director for emerging risks) told.
Intensified agriculture production also damages soils and ecosystems. This makes land less productive and requires more intensive farming methods to meet demand.
As more food is grown, it becomes more economic to throw it away, overeat the calories, and feed livestock grain so that we can eat more meat. He said that fueling demand leads to the expectation of a rise in supply and lower prices. This will lead to more land conversion and intensification.
Researchers warn that the way we produce food is not only threatening biodiversity on Earth. Our food systems account for 30% of all human-produced greenhouse gases. They also contribute to climate change.
More plant-based diets are needed for the planet
Researchers say we must shift to plant-based diets to combat biodiversity loss. This is because of the unbalanced impact animal agriculture has on biodiversity, land usage, and the environment.
Benton stated that eating healthy means eating the right amount. He also said that a healthy diet includes whole grains and vegetables and limited animal products.
“With less than half of the world being healthy, and obesity and overweight is becoming the major determinants of long-term health. Hence, it is important to eat less and reduce the land footprint.
We have 10 years to save Earth’s biodiversity from mass extinction by humans. UN warns that “Eating more plant proteins reduces it further.” He also said that 100g (3.5 ounces), of tofu, takes on average 1/7th of the land needed to produce 100g of beef.
Researchers also suggested that nature conserves more land and agriculture should not use the same.
Experts said that farming must support biodiversity. This means removing monoculture practices, creating areas that one crop can cover, and limiting inputs.
A United Nations agency warned that 2030 will endanger almost a third of Earth’s population. They also need to reduce pollution by half in order to preserve wildlife as we enter the sixth era of mass extermination.
Scientists, environmentalists, and experts have repeatedly warned that the Earth is at a critical tipping point. Recent research by the World Wildlife Fund has shown that wildlife populations around the globe have declined by 68% on average in less than four decades. Human consumption has also been responsible for this devastating decline.
Leaders from 196 countries met in Japan in 2010 to agree on a list to protect the Earth’s biodiversity. But on September 10 years later, the UN panel found that the world had failed to achieve even one of the targets.
“Biodiversity offers a vast array of things on which we depend in subtle or not-so-subtle ways.” Benton explained that soil microbes are responsible for breaking down organic matter and building soil fertility. Natural enemies can also eat pests and pollinators, which allows us to have a lot of fruit and vegetables. Trees generate oxygen and take up carbon dioxide.
Biodiversity is also important for mental well-being, as lockdown has highlighted: The sound of birdsong can lift our moods.