Increasing urbanization over the next decades presents not only unprecedented challenges for humanity, but also opportunities to curb climate change, reduce water scarcity and improve food security, according to the world's first global assessment on the relationship between urbanization and biodiversity loss, released last Friday in New York.
The assessment, entitled Cities and Biodiversity Outlook (CBO), argues that cities should facilitate for a rich biodiversity and take stewardship of crucial ecosystem services rather than being sources of large ecological footprints. The volume of research is produced by Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) together with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in partnership with UN-Habitat and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.
The detailed scientific foundation of the CBO, Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem services: Challenges and Opportunities–A Global Assessment, which was launched today in New York as part of local celebrations to mark World Habitat Day, has involved more than 200 scientists worldwide. It states that over 60 percent of the land projected to become urban by 2030 has yet to be built. It further states that if current trends continue, 70 percent of the global urban population will be urban by 2050.