A scientist from Bariloche will lead a global study on the planet’s biodiversity.

A Bariloche scientist will lead a global study on the planet’s biodiversity.

Lucas Garibaldi is a PhD in agricultural sciences from Conicet and the National University of Ro Negro. They will assess what changes humanity must make in order to live with dignity on the planet.

Lucas Garibaldi, a doctor of agronomic sciences from Bariloche, will lead a group of more than 200 scientists from around the world in determining the measures to avoid the planet’s sixth mass extinction of species. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has released a new global assessment (IPBES).

This global assessment, which will last three years, will be co-directed by the scientist, a Norwegian scientist, and an American of Indian origin. The director of the Institute for Research on Natural Resources, Agroecology, and Rural Development (IRNAD), which is funded by Conicet and the National University of Ro Negro, was taken aback by the appointment because he had not applied for the position.

Garibaldi explained that there are two intergovernmental panels at the global level dedicated to the “interface” of science and policy, with a focus on climate change and biodiversity. They are self-contained structures comprised of approximately 140 countries that contribute resources for their operation through the voluntary participation of researchers.

When it comes to the selection of the global assessment co-chairs, governments from all over the world nominate scientists, and then the final decision is made. Garibaldi clarified, “It includes not only scientific knowledge, but also local knowledge of native communities, practices, and farmers.”

How does the Panel function? Countries request reports, which serve as the foundation for international agreements on climate change or species management. “Each of these reports must be approved by the countries,” Garibaldi explained. “In this way, it exceeds the scientific consensus and has the political scientific consensus for decision making.”

In the case of the Garibaldi study, the reports will be overseen by 200 scientists from various disciplines such as biology, agronomy, sociology, and economics, as well as reviewers in charge of exchanges and discussions with governments.

Garibaldi explained that the most recent global report on biodiversity was issued some time ago, with a pessimistic assessment. “We discovered that, in the last five decades, the biodiversity of planet Earth has declined at a rate unprecedented in human history.” We are losing species at an alarming rate, the highest rate in human history,” he warned, adding that “this new report will be the most relevant as it considers the changes we need to make as humanity to change the trajectory we are living on towards a healthy world.” In other words, they will outline the transformative changes that humanity must make in order to live with dignity on the planet.

He did clarify, however, that the reports are “politically relevant but not politically prescriptive.” This means that they describe scenarios and present alternatives for changes that require decision-making. “An example is the changes required in the agricultural sector to promote native habitat conservation in crop fields, soil conservation, and crop biodiversity.” “Everything that is agroecologically based practices that lead to a high production of high nutritional quality food,” he explained.

Garibaldi stressed that his new position at IPBES is “voluntary, almost full-time every day for many years.” It is linked to scientific vocation, debates, and polls. It encompasses a wide range of disciplines and professions.”

What is the most difficult challenge for biodiversity preservation? According to Garibaldi, “much of it is associated with land use change.” Our crops, forestry, and livestock occupy the majority of the planet. As a result, we must transform our food systems from production to consumption in a comprehensive manner. That is the struggle.


Article Author Gerlux

Image: conicet