A master plan for more biodiversity

Cover OF THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SPECIES by Katrin Böhning-Gaese and Friederike Bauer
“The continued extinction of species is like canceling our life insurance every day,” write biodiversity researcher Katrin Böhning-Gaese and journalist Friederike Bauer in their book.

The current challenge is not just protecting species for its own sake: using numerous examples from Germany and the world, the authors explain in an understandable way how closely biological diversity and human well-being are linked. Intact nature forms the basis for healthy soils and thus profitable agriculture. But habitats are disappearing. One million species are threatened with extinction.

The situation is not yet hopeless: the authors explain in detail what needs to change to stop and reverse the loss. Your master plan essentially focuses on three packages of measures: First, larger and better managed protected areas. Secondly, a reduction in subsidies that are harmful to nature and the expansion of organic farming. Third, less food waste and more plant-based nutrition.

Böhning-Gaese and Bauer see everyone as responsible, from politicians and companies to each individual. The International Agreement of Montreal 2022 gives them hope as a milestone for the conservation of biological diversity. At the same time, they do not hide the open questions regarding its implementation.

What sounds like strenuous reading is actually easy to read. Short subchapters give you an opportunity to take a deep breath. In addition, Böhning-Gaese and Bauer not only impressively present numbers and scenarios. They also manage to awaken a fascination for the achievements of nature, for example for medical purposes. In the fight against antibiotic resistance, researchers are relying on molecules from chestnut tree leaves. With their help, resistant bacteria could possibly be neutralized in the future.

Certainly not everything in this book is new. But the issue of species loss and how to combat it can be better addressed. The sources are also suitable for a deeper discussion of biodiversity research. Salome Berblinger

Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Friederike Bauer
ON THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SPECIES
The fight for the future of humanity
Velcro cotta, 256 p., € 22,-
ISBN 978-3-608-98669-3

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