Fifth of Countries at Risk of Ecosystem Collapse

Fifth of Countries at Risk of Ecosystem Collapse

A report by Swiss insurance firm Swiss Re has found that one-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of ecosystem collapse | #one-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of ecosystem collapse |. Already, “services” provided by the natural world, including food, clean water and air, and flood protection have been severely damaged by human activity.
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Risk of Tipping Points Growing
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The report says that over half of global GDP – $42 trillion – depends on high-functioning biodiversity, and the risk of tipping points is only growing.
Countries near the top of the index of risk to biodiversity and ecosystem services included Australia, Israel, and South Africa, though India, Spain, and Belgium are also highlighted. Additionally, countries that have fragile ecosystems | Learn more on Commonshare | and large farming sectors | Learn more on Commonshare |, such as Pakistan and Nigeria, are flagged.
Other countries have large areas of intact ecosystems but a strong economic dependence on natural resources. Examples of these include Brazil and Indonesia.
Lead author Oliver Schelske said that if the ecosystem decline continues, “you would see then scarcities unfolding even more strongly, up to tipping points.”
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First Index of Its Kind
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Swiss Re’s chief research officer, Jeffrey Bohn, said that this is the first index the company is aware of “that pulls together indicators of biodiversity and ecosystems to cross-compare around the world, and then specifically link back to the economies of those locations.”
The purpose of the index was to help insurers assess ecosystem risks when setting premiums for businesses, but Bohn said it could have a wider use: it “allows businesses and governments to factor biodiversity and ecosystems into their economic decision-making.”
The Swiss Re index uses 10 key ecosystem services identified by leading scientists, and uses scientific data to map the state of these services at a resolution of one square kilometer across the world’s land. These services include clean water and air, food | Learn more on Commonshare |, timber | Learn more on Commonshare |, pollination, fertile soil, erosion control, and coastal protection, as well as a measure of habitat intactness.
Lexicon:
One-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of ecosystem collapse | https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/12/fifth-of-nations-at-risk-of-ecosystem-collapse-analysis-finds |: source from theguardian website

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