Scientists observe biodiversity Boris Hovat/Getty Images

敲响生物多样性丧失的警钟

诺维奇—联合国气候变化会议正在德国波恩召开,全球气温的升高再次成为世界议程的焦点。但要不是气温升高影响到包括人类在内的地球上的生命,为什么还要关注这个问题?

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这是一个需要考虑的重要问题,因为人们相对来说较少关注一个紧密相关、同样重要的人类生存威胁:令人吃惊的全球生物多样性丧失速度。

获得粮食、水和能源——每个国家安全的基本构成要件——取决于健康、鲁棒、多样化的生态系统以及栖息于其中的生命。但是,拜人类行为所赐,如今地球生物多样性的衰减速度比历史上任何时候都要快。但是,许多决策者仍然没有认识到生物多样性丧失的威胁,和海平面上升、极端天气事件越来越频繁等量齐观。

尽管国际社会为保护生物多样性做出了很多努力,但关注度仍然不够。2010年10月,全球领导人在日本爱知达成了2011—2020年生物多样性战略计划,其中包括了20项宏大的目标——比如将全球栖息地丧失减少一半、结束滥捕滥捞等——签署国同意在2020年前实现这些目标。捍卫生物多样性也被明确写入了联合国可持续发展目标。但在这些全球生物多样性目标方面的进展大大低于确保全人类可接受的未来的要求。

决策者们基本上都同意必须将全球升温幅度限制在前工业化水平以上2℃以内——这也是巴黎气候协定的目标。但很少有领导人表现出阻止生物多样性丧失的紧迫感。我们想要的可持续的未来取决于是否能够停止这一冷漠。

为了向这一目标靠拢,由我主持的生物多样性和生态系统维持政府间科学政策平台(IPBES)将在明年3月发布关于生物多样性损失的影响的一系列地标性报告。这些报告由100个国家的550多位专家经三年多时间酝酿,评估范围涵盖了四个世界地区:美洲、亚洲和太平洋、非洲以及欧洲和中亚。第五份报告则将针对土地退化和地区和全球层面的重建问题。

这些报告强调趋势和可能的未来,列举在减缓生态系统(从大堡礁到热带雨林)退化方面可用的最佳政策选项。总体看来,IPBES报告可以代表全球科学界在生物多样性和生态系统维持状态问题上的共识。

此外,这些报告还将强调生物多样性丧失和气候变化之间的紧密联系,这两个问题可以同时解决。如果世界不考虑生物多样性和生态系统维持的状态,就无法实现巴黎协定的目标——也无法实现许多可持续发展目标。

如今,大部分政府将环境部门从专注于能源、农业和规划的部门中分离出来。这导致难以用综合方法治理气候变化或生物多样性丧失问题。需要新的创新治理结构将各自为政的政策综合起来。

明年IPBES地区报告发布后,2019年还将在此基础上发布全球评估结果。这将是自权威性的2005年千年生态系统评估以来第一份全球性生物多样性和生态系统维持总体评估。它将考察陆地、淡水和海洋生态系统的健康状况,以及包括各种因素的影响,包括酸化、海洋表面温度升高、贸易、入侵物种、过度捕捞、污染和土地用途改变等。

改变对全球自然资产的不可持续的用途的努力要想取得成功,决策者必须反思生物多样性对于人民、环境和经济的意义。但第一步是要确保我们具备最好的同行审议知识来保证可靠的决策;即将发布的IPBES评估将是迈向这一方向的重要一步。

要想让气候变化的全面后果在我们这一代人手上得到解决,我们必须承认人类活动不仅仅导致了每年气温预测上升几度。明年年初,我们将拥有关于生物多样性和生态系统维持的数据证明这一点,并了解可以采取哪些政策改变局面。

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