Nature and Biodiversity
Nature embodies concepts including biodiversity, ecosystems, Mother Earth, and systems of life. Nature contributes ecosystem goods and services, and gifts including beauty and spiritual refreshment. Both nature and nature’s contributions to people are vital for human existence and for a good quality of life often described as human well-being, living in harmony with nature, or living well in balance and harmony with Mother Earth. Bahá'u'lláh described the countryside as the world of the soul. While more food, energy and materials than ever before are now being supplied to people in most places, this is increasingly at the expense of nature’s ability to provide such contributions in the future and frequently undermines nature’s many other contributions and ecosystem services, which range from water quality regulation to sense of place. The biosphere, upon which humanity as a whole depends, is being altered to an unparalleled degree across all spatial scales. Biodiversity – the diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems – is declining faster than at any time in human history, with one million species threatened in the immediate future. Since all the energy in organic materials, apart from a few microbes living on geothermal energy, is solar energy trapped by photosynthesis, imagine what would happen if plant life was so destroyed that there was no longer enough food for all living things including us. This is a crisis as serious and threatening as climate change.
The IEF considers the biodiversity crisis, along with climate change, and chemical pollution and waste, as environmental issues of high priority requiring urgent action. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the global agreement through which states are addressing the biodiversity challenge since its adoption in 1992. Its fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15), now scheduled for December 2022, will be negotiating and adopting a Global Biodiversity Framework to set goals and targets for action by countries around the world. The IEF is accredited to the CBD and will be following this process and reporting to its members.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is the scientific advisory body to the CBD. Involving hundreds of scientists, it prepares reports on the state of biodiversity in the world, and special reports on specific issues requested by the conferences of the parties, such as on the values of biodiversity and sustainable use of wild species.
The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration runs from 2021–2030. Its purpose is to promote the United Nation's environmental goals by preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of nature and ecosystems world-wide. As with many other planetary resources being raped and pillaged for short-term profit, most natural habitats are under great pressure, with only fragments surviving. We now need global cooperation for the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems and their unique species before it is too late.
Global Biodiversity Framework Adopted 18 December 2022
IEF Statement March 2021
Ethical Commitment to Protect Nature and its Biodiversity
Secure and Equitable, Nature Positive, Net Zero World
Non-State Actors' Call for Governments to Strengthen the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, August 2021
Commentary in a Bahá'í perspective on
The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review 2021
Life story of Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889-1983), "Man of the Trees", forester, early environmentalist and Bahá'í
Last updated 23 November 2023