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Panel II · Energy & Environmental Sustainability

Humanity’s Next Threat: Loss of Biodiversity

Scientists and researchers have long touted the drastic effects of climate change, with a dire sense of emergency to fix or alleviate the problem. However, a lesser publicized environmental sustainability problem has potentially the same effects, if not worse, than those of climate change: biodiversity loss. According to a UN Environment Report, 8 out of 10 of the world’s most plastic polluted rivers in the world are in Asia, threatening the existence of nearly 25 percent of the region’s endemic species. Worse yet, in a Nature paper, the researchers found that high levels of biodiversity loss was on the same rank of other major drivers of environmental change: climate warming, ozone pollution, acid deposition on forests, and nutrient pollution. Despite the magnitude of the effects of biodiversity loss, little publication or attention has been given to it in the greater world context. Thus, this panel will attempt to answer the question of why biodiversity loss is a greater issue to focus on in the world, with focus given on what has been done to combat the issue, what are newer developments in the field, and what cultural intersections must be made to motivate the world to save biodiversity in a unified effort.

Earlier Event: August 18