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Biodiversity loss

Pollination is just one service that our ecosystems provide and which could be under threat as the number of species decline. Image credit - Jon Sullivan, image is in the public domain
Pollination is just one service that our ecosystems provide and which could be under threat as the number of species decline. Image credit - Jon Sullivan, image is in the public domain

This month, Horizon explores the global challenge of biodiversity loss. Many experts believe we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction, where human-caused factors such as land use and pollution are causing a decline in biodiversity – something that threatens the future of our own species. We speak to British ecologist Professor Georgina Mace about how bad the situation is and what we can do about it. We explore marine ecosystems, where species relocation outpaces that of terrestrial populations, and examine how we can help these environments adapt, as well as finding out what’s in store for bees – our pollinators. Finally, we investigate the services nature provides for people – from cleaning our water to acting as a carbon sink – and ask whether putting a value on natural capital could help save it.

See also

The business of biodiversity: can we put a value on nature?

Nature provides people with everything from food and water to timber, textiles, medicinal resources and pollination of crops. Now, a new approach aims to measure exactly what a specific ecosystem supplies in order to incentivise decision-makers and businesses to help combat biodiversity loss.

Bee diversity critical to world’s food supply

Ecosystems that contain only a few bee species underperform in terms of plant production whereas those with many different species thrive, according to research which highlights the importance of bee diversity to securing the world’s food supply.

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