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New Research Argues Population Growth Is Not The Main Driver of Biodiversity Loss Based on IPBES Global Scientific Consensus

Researchers have used IPBES Global Assessment and the Sustainable Use of Wild Species Assessment findings to illustrate how the belief that human population growth is the main cause of biodiversity is erroneous.

"...Inequitable consumption drives global biodiversity loss, whilst population is used to scapegoat responsibility. Instead, the responsibilities are clear and have recently been summarized by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services IPBES: Leverage points for biodiversity conservation lie in reducing unsustainable consumption through diet shifts, tracking supply chains, and technological innovation as well as ensuring sustainable production to reduce biodiversity losses associated with industrial agriculture," state the authors.

By examining the drivers of biodiversity loss in highly biodiverse countries, researchers argue that population growth is not the primary factor behind habitat loss. Instead, the growth of commodities for export, such as soybean and oil-palm, primarily for livestock feed or biofuel consumption in wealthier economies, plays a significant role. Inequitable consumption patterns drive global biodiversity loss, while population is often used as a scapegoat to shift responsibility.

The paper was published in the January 2023 (Volume 277) edition of the Biological Conservation journal.
Sustainable use assessment, Global assessment (1st work programme)
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