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March 2021

Biodiversity and its Materiality for Investors

Biodiversity loss is among the top global risks to society according to the World Economic Forum. In what scientists call the Anthropocene – the age of mankind – the planet is facing its sixth mass extinction, this time caused by humans. Humans have destroyed or degraded vast areas of the world’s ecosystems. Natural forests and wetlands declined by 35% over the last few decades, and 60% of vertebrate populations have disappeared. Over 30% of corals are now at risk from bleaching and we are likely to lose all of them by the end of the century. These striking developments are driven by land-use change, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution and climate change. Even the COVID-19 pandemic had its origins in illegal wildlife trade and habitat destruction, which brought an animal disease into contact with humans. The likelihood of pan-demics will increase as the loss of biodiversity continues. There is an urgent need for action by investors.

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