Biodiversity

Biological diversity is a cornerstone of healthy and functioning ecosystems and ultimately also human well-being. Biological diversity is being steadily lost due to deforestation or the conversion of grasslands and savannahs to agriculture; hunting and exploitation of animals and plants; pollution; climate change and invasive species.

Illustration of biodiversity theme. Illustration: Catrin Jakobsson.

LUCSUS carries out sustainability research that has direct links with biodiversity and human well-being. At the heart of this research are ideas and understandings on changing nature society interactions, local ecological knowledge and political ecology of conservation and development.

In 2019, the UN Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published a global assessment on the state of nature, ecosystems and nature's contributions to people.

Link to the report "Assessing the state of knowledge on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people in support of sustainable development"

The report highlights that in order to better understand and, more importantly, to address the main causes for biodiversity loss we need to understand the indirect drivers found in the historical and complex interlinkages of demographic and economic development. Key drivers include increased population; rising consumption per capita; fast paced technological innovation with its positive and negative effects on the natural environment; and critical issues related to governance and accountability of policy-makers, governments and the private sector (IPBES 2019). The report emphasizes that only through ‘transformative change’, can nature still be conserved, restored, and used sustainably.

Recognizing this and implementing these transformative changes in political decisions and governance at global, national and local levels, and in economic management and individual behavior is crucial in order to achieve the other global sustainable development goals. The research we carry out at LUCSUS is important for this transformative change.

Ongoing research projects

How COVID-19 affects indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon

Interview by Focali with Torsten Krause