The information presented in this report is a result of a review of the scientific and technical literature on the impacts of consumption on biodiversity and ecosystem services in selected sectors. In addition, an analysis of relevant communication campaigns, activities and actors working on the topic of biodiversity, ecosystem services and consumption in selected consumption fields was carried out.
The pressure on biodiversity we are applying through our consumption production habits is by far too high. We are exceeding the planetary boundaries and we are destroying our livelihoods. 23 per cent of global land area is degraded, over 85 per cent of wetlands have disappeared since 1970, 32 million hectares of primary forest or recovering forest in the tropics were lost between 2010 and 2015, 25 per cent of non-insect species are threatened with extinction if no action is taken. These are just some of the dire facts published in the global assessment report by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
The magnitude of environmental impacts caused by human activities is closely related to economic growth, the consumption patterns of affluent societies as well as to the demographic development.
Filling the knowledge gap of how to communicate on consumption-related impacts on biodiversity
Communication between producers, consumers and decision-makers is crucial in order to counteract the impacts of consumption on nature. Currently, a comprehensive overview of existing policy recommendations and implementation measures does not exist, nor is there an overview of effective formats for communication between stakeholders.
This report aims at filling this gap. It summarises the state of knowledge on the impacts of current consumption patterns on biodiversity and ecosystem services, gives an overview of recommendations for policy action and proposed measures, and contains good and best practice examples of communication on sustainable consumption. It also includes an overview of international networks, cooperations and initiatives of relevant stakeholders that play a crucial role in reducing negative impacts on biodiversity.
Key messages derived from the analysis
Communication and information efforts should also focus on protecting biodiversity
Since the beginning of this millennium, the international social debate on sustainable consumption has been – and in part still is – strongly influenced by the topic of climate protection. This topic along with energy efficiency has so far played a dominant role in communicating consumer recommendations. Keeping in mind the current state of the planetary boundaries besides climate change, it is very important to also address other aspects of sustainable consumption such as the protection of biodiversity and the preservation of ecosystem services in communication and information efforts. Biodiversity and climate change are strongly interlinked – this must become reflected in our actions as consumers and decision makers in the private and policy sector.
Download and read the report if you want to get the current state of knowledge, an overview over relevant communication activities, important actors and networks as well as good and best practice examples.