World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on June 5th, engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue. In 2020, the theme is biodiversity, a concern that is both urgent and existential. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States and Australia, to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life in which they exist. Nature is sending us a message.
To mark World Environment Day 2020, Elsevier presents a curated collection of 62 journal articles and book chapters devoted to biodiversity and humanity’s intimate interconnection with nature.
This special issue demonstrates how nature responds to some of the most pressing challenges faced by humans today. It provides us with oxygen, purifies the water we drink, ensures fertile soil, and produces the variety of foods we require to stay healthy and resist disease. It enables medical researchers to understand human physiology; and offers substance for developing medicines. It is the foundation of most industries and livelihoods. It even helps mitigate the impact of climate change by storing carbon and regulating local rainfall. Life on earth would not be possible without nature’s services. It is our greatest common good.
But with our increasing demands, humans have pushed nature beyond its limit. In the last 50 years, the human population has doubled; the global economy has almost quadrupled and global trade has increased by about ten times. It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make of nature each year.
As part of our SDG Impact of COVID-19 podcast series, RELX’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Dr Márcia Balisciano, spoke to Dr Sam Scheiner, Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. As discussed during this episode, the emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. By upsetting the delicate balance of nature, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens – including coronaviruses – to spread.
If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. It's time to work together #ForNature.
One Earth, Volume 2, 24 April 2020
Ocean health is critical for human well-being but is threatened by multiple stressors. Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity agreed to protect 10% of their waters by 2020. The scientific evidence supporting the use of marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve biodiversity stems primarily from knowledge on fully protected areas, but most of what is being established is partially protected. Here, we assess the protection levels of the 1,062 Mediterranean MPAs.
Encyclopedia of Biodiversity (Second Edition), 2013, Pages 681-707
Encyclopedia of Biodiversity (Second Edition), 2013, Pages 691-699
Encyclopedia of Biodiversity (Second Edition), 2013, Pages 399-410
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 70, 1 April 2017
This literature review identifies the impacts of different renewable energy pathways on ecosystems and biodiversity, and the implications of these impacts for transitioning to a Green Economy. While the higher penetration of renewable energy is currently the backbone of Green Economy efforts, an emerging body of literature demonstrates that the renewable energy sector can affect ecosystems and biodiversity.
Plastic Waste and Recycling, Environmental Impact, Societal Issues, Prevention, and Solutions, 2020, pages 223 - 249
Emerging and Reemerging Viral Pathogens, Volume 1: Fundamental and Basic Virology Aspects of Human, Animal and Plant Pathogens, 2020, Pages 127-149
Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 52, January 2020
The UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 169 targets have been considered in multidisciplinary approaches worldwide. Whereas, several environmental, economic and social development concerns have been covered by the UN 2030 Agenda. The aim of this research is to investigate the complexity of the interactions between building materials and the SDGs, in an attempt to establish a knowledge-based decision support system for policy-makers, designers and construction stakeholders regarding the implementation of 2030 agenda.
Building and Environment, Volume 158, July 2019
To fight against the biodiversity loss and to take advantage of ecosystem services that nature can offer, urban planners integrate green spaces in urban projects. However to assess green spaces, attention is generally paid to local biodiversity (i.e. “in situ”)which concerns the plot on which buildings are constructed. The biodiversity impacted outside the construction site (i.e. “ex situ”)which concerns the extraction of materials, transportation and waste, is rarely associated to the project assessment.
Materials Today Sustainability, Volume 3-4, March 2019
The built environment is responsible for large negative ecological impacts due in part to the vast amount of materials used in construction. Concurrently, construction and demolition activities result in vast amounts of materials being buried, burnt, and dumped. It is essential therefore to analyze the impact of building materials acquisition, use, and transformation on the ecosystems people inhabit and rely upon for well-being. Typically, this is examined in terms of material use, energy use, and emission of pollutants including greenhouse gases.
Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 13, October 2018
This short review gives an overview of recent publications on public views on climate change, student views and misconceptions, and resources for making connections in the classroom and the laboratory between chemistry concepts and climate change concepts.
Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Systems, Encyclopedia of the World`s Biomes, 2020
Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Systems, Encyclopedia of the World's Biomes, 2020
Bioenergy (Second Edition), 2020, Pages 767-788
Microalgae Cultivation for Biofuels Production, 2020, Pages 1-9
Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat (2nd edition), 2020, Pages 35-61
The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change, 2020, Pages 79-93
Agricultural Systems (Second Edition), Agroecology and Rural Innovation for Development, 2017, Pages 33-72
Sustainable Food Systems from Agriculture to Industry, Improving Production and Processing, 2018, Pages 3-46
Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation in Tropical Islands, 2018, Pages 525-552
Aquatic Functional Biodiversity, An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective, 2015, Pages 127-155
Biodiversity of Pantepui, The Pristine “Lost World” of the Neotropical Guiana Highlands, 2019, Pages 403-417
Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 38, April 2020
Insect pollinators are becoming visible to societies. Many peer-reviewed papers evidence biophysical and ecological aspects of managed and non-managed insect pollinators. Evidence on stressors of declines yield peer-reviewed calls for action. Yet, insect pollinator declines are inherently a human issue, driven by a history of land-use trends, changes in technologies, and socio-cultural perceptions that unwittingly cause and perpetuate declines. Conservation requires integrating social and ecological understandings to reconfigure human behaviors across societies’ sectors.
Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 12, 1 December 2015
Strategies are urgently required to ensure long term maintenance of current levels of global insect diversity. Yet insect diversity is huge and immensely complex, with many species and individuals making up an important part of compositional and functional biodiversity worldwide. As only a fifth of all insects have been scientifically described, we have the task of conserving largely what is unknown. Inevitably, this means that there are various challenges and shortfalls to address when we aim to future-proof insect diversity.
Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 91, September 2019
Background: Synthetic biology is an emerging multidisciplinary area of research with the potential to deliver various novel agrifood applications. Its long-term adoption and commercialisation will depend on the extent to which the public accept synthetic biology and its different applications. Scope and approach: A mapping review of existing research on public perceptions of, and attitudes towards, synthetic biology and its applications to agriculture and food production was conducted.
Environmental Science and Policy, Volume 106, April 2020
The Paris Agreement to keep global temperature increase to well-below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C requires to formulate ambitious climate-change mitigation scenarios to reduce CO2 emissions and to enhance carbon sequestration. These scenarios likely require significant land-use change. Failing to mitigate climate change will result in an unprecedented warming with significant biodiversity loss. The mitigation potential on land is high. However, how land-based mitigation options potentially affect biodiversity is poorly understood.
Kuete, Medicinal Spices and Vegetables from Africa, 2017, Pages 271 - 297
Lall, Medicinal Plants for Holistic Health and Well-Being, 2017, Pages 1-11
McCreath and Delgoda, Pharmacognosy: Fundamentals, Applications and Strategies, 2016, Pages 677 - 685
Char and Carbon Materials Derived from Biomass, 2019, Pages 447-479
Foundations for Sustainability, A Coherent Framework of Life-Environment Relations, 2019, Pages 231-247
Interface Science and Technology, Volume 28, 2019, Pages 81-111