Can Biodiversity Credits Prevent the Sixth Mass Extinction?

Minerva Singh
4 min readJan 2
Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

In the history of biodiversity on Earth, there have been five major extinction events, all of which were brought on by dramatic but normal occurrences. Three-quarters of the animal species that exist today may go extinct in the next 300 years, according to a study conducted by Barnosky and colleagues in 2011. They evaluated the extinction rate of mammals, abundant in the fossil record, during the previous 65 million years and discovered that it averaged less than two species per million years. But based on the most conservative estimates of biologists, at least 80 of the 5570 species of mammals have vanished in the last 500 years — a rate of extinction that is higher than that of known significant extinctions in the past. The study’s findings were released in the journal Nature.

While the claims of a sixth mass extinction have been debunked by many, there is no denying that our biodiversity is in crisis. Anthropogenic influence is causing a global rise in the danger of species extinction, a general fall in species population abundance, and species extinction rates that are at least 10–100 times quicker than natural background rates. Agriculture is a major contributor to soil erosion, deforestation, pollution, and biodiversity loss. It reduces the amount of wilderness areas and uproots innumerable species from their native habitats, forcing them to compete with people for few resources or leaving them defenceless. Humans have already altered over 70% of the earth’s surface, using about 75% of the freshwater.

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, launched a programme to safeguard the planet’s “important carbon and biodiversity reserves,” such as old-growth forests, peat bogs, and mangroves, at COP 27. Based on “political and financial commitments” that would enable them to ensure the conservation of these reserves, a proposal for “positive conservation partnerships” is made for the countries hosting such reserves. To do this, “new financial mechanisms” will be investigated, and it is intended to charge a “high-level group with…

Minerva Singh

PhD in Quantitative Ecology (Cambridge University). Passionate about AI, finance & sustainability. For cryptocurrency insights: