BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY DAY
The International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated each year on May 22nd, aims to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Which commemorates the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992.
Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet. It underpins human well-being in the present and in the future, and its rapid decline threatens nature and people alike. According to the latest Global Assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), human activities are driving biodiversity loss at an unprecedented rate. However, the assessment also indicated that solutions existed and that it was not too late to act.
Scientists estimate that there are at least 8 million species of plants and animals living on earth today, including humans. The ecosystems in which these species live are incredible. Humans are immersed in ecosystems and depend on these interconnected networks of plants, animals, and people. However, human activities are significantly impacting ecosystems, for instance through man-made climate change, pollution, and habitat loss.
Humanity impacts the planet's biodiversity in multiple ways, both deliberate and accidental. The biggest threat to biodiversity to date has been the way humans have reshaped natural habitats.
Human negative impact on biodiversity has reached an unprecedented scale. About 75% of terrestrial environment and 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions. Approximately 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. Overall, current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems are undermining progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The main global drivers of biodiversity loss are climate change, invasive species, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution and urbanization. Without rapid and ambitious action to reverse these trends and safeguard nature, we are at risk of failing to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Some models predict that climate change will become the primary cause of biodiversity decline in the coming decades. The impact of all the main drivers of biodiversity loss is accelerating and therefore, so is the pace of biodiversity decline.
Relationship between biodiversity and architecture:
The impact that architecture has upon ecosystems, both at the building and further afield, is enormous. Architects impact upon biodiversity in five main ways:
- Decisions regarding roofs, walls and landscapes
- Materials used in construction: their sourcing, assembly and disposal
- Resource needed to sustain buildings
- Adverse effects of buildings regarding water and air pollution
- Conservation and rehabilitation of existing structures
We can consider these 5 factors either in isolation or as a compound system.