Reefs off Lombok, Indonesia | Pia Kegler

19/03/2024 | The Leibniz Biodiversity Research Network, of which the ZMT is a member, recently presented "10 Must-Knows from Biodiversity Research" for 2024 as a guide for the conservation of biodiversity.

From as yet undiscovered biodiversity to resilient forests and the impact of food consumption on nature: 64 experts have now pooled their knowledge and recommendations and published them in the form of "10 Must-Knows from Biodiversity Research" for 2024. The new report from the Leibniz Biodiversity Research Network shows policymakers and society concrete ways in which biodiversity can be effectively conserved and sustainably used at local, national and European level, and how this can also protect the climate. With the publication, the researchers summarize current scientific facts and thus contribute to the debate on the national biodiversity strategy, which is to be adopted before the next World Conference on Nature in autumn 2024.

"We are already exceeding planetary boundaries, both in terms of global warming and biodiversity loss. Joint responses are needed to counter these crises. We know that protecting biodiversity can make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change, for example through species-rich forests and rewetted peatlands that store carbon. Only by focusing more on measures to protect biodiversity can we succeed in tackling both crises at the same time," says Kirsten Thonicke, lead author and deputy head of department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who coordinates the research network.

The biodiversity of the oceans must also be preserved. Oceans provide oxygen for breathing and food for more than a third of humanity. They provide work for millions and millions of people. At the same time, the oceans regulate the weather and climate and slow down man-made global warming. Biodiversity in the oceans is essential to maintain these ecosystem services. "The ZMT is working with others to further emphasize the importance of marine biodiversity," says Raimund Bleischwitz, Scientific Director of the ZMT.

Following the strong response to the "10 must-knows from biodiversity research" first published in 2022, researchers from a total of 52 German and international research institutions have now contributed their expertise from the environmental, life, spatial, social, humanities and economic sciences to the new version. "Our recommendations bring together the research findings available today for decision-makers. The must-knows are intended to provide them with guidance on how to implement the globally agreed biodiversity targets in the German context," says author Sibylle Schroer from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries. "This also includes recognizing that we have so far only researched and understood a relatively small part of the entire biodiversity. This insight is an important step towards more sustainable environmental protection measures, which should focus on ecosystem-based habitat management - and thus the functions and interactions between species and habitats, rather than just individual species and habitats."

Concentrated biodiversity knowledge from 64 experts across all disciplines

The National Biodiversity Strategy 2030 is currently being developed for the national implementation of the 23 global biodiversity targets agreed by the member states of the United Nations at the World Conference on Nature in December 2022. In order to provide up-to-date facts from the scientific community, the first version of the "10 Must-Knows" from 2022 was expanded to include numerous aspects and brought up to date with the help of current literature. The report that has now been published addresses, for example, how the impact of food consumption on biodiversity can be reduced in concrete terms: "Understanding and using biodiversity as an important production factor helps to stabilize yields, make agriculture resilient and develop us all, whether producers or consumers, into biodiversity managers," says author Jens Freitag from the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research.

The authors provide practical recommendations for policymakers and show what citizens can do with concrete options for action. The BMBF Research Initiative for the Conservation of Biodiversity (FEdA) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig were involved in the project as cooperation partners. The "10 Must-Knows" were commented on by experts from politics, administration, science and associations before publication.

The "10 Must-Knows from Biodiversity Research 2024" include

1. realizing climate and biodiversity protection together

2. enabling a healthy life on a healthy planet

3. respect undiscovered biodiversity

4. linking linguistic, cultural and biological diversity

5. reconcile the diverse use of forest ecosystems and biodiversity conservation

6. transform agricultural and food systems

7. protect land and resources

8. bring about transformative change through international cooperation and education for sustainable development

9. ensure free access and open use of biodiversity-related data

10. reduce the impact of food consumption on biodiversity

To the full text of the "10 Must-Knows from Biodiversity Research 2024":

Further information on the Leibniz Biodiversity Research Network: www.leibniz-