Biodiversity 101: The Latest Science Explained

2150
3 min readApr 9, 2024
Read the Biodiversity 101 briefing — https://www.2150.vc/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/2150-Biodiversity-101-compressed.pdf

Biodiversity is disappearing at the fastest rate in human history. Species are going extinct at 100–1,000x the background rate and 1 million plant and animal species are currently at risk of extinction. Various studies suggest we are headed for the 6th mass extinction event: the first predominantly caused by human activities. Continued biodiversity loss will have dire consequences for our livelihoods and our economy.

We’ve put together our ‘Biodiversity 101’ briefing — a primer that contextualises the latest research on biodiversity and ecosystem services with the goal of providing essential knowledge to support discussion and meaningful action. We hope this provides valuable understanding for a complex, but essential topic for our current and future sustainability.

Read the Biodiversity 101 briefing here.

Biodiversity is an essential characteristic of adaptable, resilient, and functional ecosystems, whose processes are vital to all life on Earth. The human population relies on biodiversity through ecosystem services such as climate regulation, biomass provision, and pollination. While biodiversity and ecosystem services are distinct concepts, they are intrinsically linked. Declining biodiversity generally reduces the supply and stability of ecosystem services. Fourteen of 18 globally analyzed ecosystem services have declined over the past 50 years.

Ecosystem services are essential for our economy. PwC analysis shows that roughly 60% of global GDP (or $58 trillion) is at least moderately dependent on ecosystem services. WEF’s 2024 Global Risks Report cites biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse as one of the top 5 threats to humanity over the next 5 years. The World Bank estimates that global GDP will drop $2.7 trillion by 2030 under partial ecosystem collapse. With so much of our economy dependent on nature, there is no future for the status quo.

Just as climate science has advanced significantly over the years, our understanding of biodiversity has also grown tremendously. However, translating this scientific knowledge into accessible and actionable insights remains a key challenge. We hope the Biodiversity 101 will help highlight effective action to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, and enhance understanding of the current condition of biodiversity and the drivers of biodiversity loss.

More about Biodiversity 101

This educational piece follows in the footsteps of 2150’s Climate 101 and combines the latest science to explain the intricate relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services, the current trends of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss, and key areas where targeted action can make a meaningful difference.

Despite the ecological crisis we are facing, 2150 sees immense opportunity and potential in shifting to a nature-positive economy. Halting and reversing biodiversity loss will require a portfolio of actions across all sectors, including reimagining how we build and design cities and infrastructure, rethinking how we use land, freshwater, and the ocean, and transforming how we extract and use energy and resources.

We hope the ‘Biodiversity 101’ helps you understand the problem of biodiversity loss and can promote action to halt and reverse current trends.

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2150

2150 is a venture capital firm investing in technology companies that seek to sustainably reimagine and reshape the urban environment.