Biodiversity in 2020: the biggest threats and opportunities

19th December 2019

The annual CCI “horizon scan” has now been complete, with scientists and conservation professionals predicting mosquito-killing fungi and a kelp crisis could be among the trends affecting living things next year.

The annual scan was led by CCI Council Member and Cambridge University conservation biologist William Sutherland.

The group narrowed a list of 89 issues to 15 emerging or anticipated trends that have a strong potential to benefit or harm living things but are not yet on the radar for most conservationists. Here are their top picks, published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

Seven relate to potentially extensive changes in vegetation or ecological systems. These changes are either relatively new, for example, conversion of kelp forests to simpler macroalgal systems, or may occur in the future, for example, as a result of the derivation of nanocelluose from wood or the rapid expansion of small hydropower schemes. Other topics highlight potential changes in national legislation that may have global effect on international agreements.

“This 11th annual horizon scan identified novel issues that may have substantive positive or negative effects on global biological conservation. We do not aim to predict outcomes, but to highlight issues to which societies may wish or need to respond to in the future on the basis of improved knowledge.” – William Sutherland, CCI Council.

The full story covered by The Guardian can be found here.