There is a war going on outside, and biodiversity is losing by every metric available. Our humanity, and that of future generations, depends on us taking up arms today and fighting on the losing side, click for click, until the balance of the planet is restored.

The UN Secretary General’s address on the urgency needed to protect nature was revolutionary given the founding role of the UN as a peace-forming organization (1). When it comes to biodiversity, the casualties keep building, day-by-day, month-by-month, and year-by-year. Individuals, species, communities, whole ecosystems are identified, targeted, eliminated (2). The precision and effectiveness of the onslaught and the sheer geographic extent of the losses suggest this is one of the most successful wars humanity has ever fought. …

There are many big claims in agricultural research. That GMOs are higher yielding than non-GMOs, that biochar is the next best thing, or that intercropping is the way to go. Many of these claims are supported by individual syntheses, each with thousands of individual experimental or quasi-experimental paired observations of the impact of treatments on crop yields or other outcomes measured against controls.

These data sets are scattered across the literature and the strength of the evidence for, or against, a given intervention across different locations in the world is often masked in existing scientific publications. This makes it hard…

In the years leading up to the pandemic, the coverage of climate change in the media increased year on year — accompanied by a rise in widespread public protests and climate action. Then, like many other aspects of our lives over the past year, media coverage of climate change was put on hold, overshadowed by the attention afforded to the pandemic. With the new year upon us, efforts are needed to put climate change back on the agenda and in the spotlight in media outlets worldwide.

Trends in global media coverage show just how rapidly mentions of “Covid-19” increased soon…

Global synchronization of food production negatively impacts food security. Shutterstock

Crop failures are an important cause of food price spikes, conflict and food insecurity. The likelihood of local crop failures being catastrophic at the global level is exacerbated when they happen at the same time — that is, when our agricultural systems become more synchronized.

In a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution, we show that while some crops such as maize and soybean have become less synchronized in recent decades (a seemingly good news story), the synchronization of production between crops increased overall. This has, in turn, destabilized our total global calorie supply.

Our analysis calls for governments to…

The food system is failing. And we are on a mission to fix it.

Feel like joining us?

Taking part might mean changing the way you see the world. Solving big problems needs people. But it also needs a common vision. A vision that encompasses our diversity of viewpoints and experiences.

That’s why we created The Colours of Food Security. It shows us that to solve the food system problem we need to view the food system from all its angles, and all its colours.

And we think getting the vision right will take us at least 50% of the…

Terraced rice fields in northwest Vietnam. Shutterstock

Every day there are roughly 386,000 new mouths to feed, and in that same 24 hours, scientists estimate between one and 100 species will go extinct. That’s it. Lost forever.

To deal with the biodiversity crisis we need to find a way to give nature more space — habitat loss is a key factor driving these extinctions. But how would this affect our food supplies?

New research, published in Nature Sustainability, found it could mean we lose a lot of food — but exactly how much really depends on how we choose to give nature that space. …

Zia Mehrabi

Research Associate, University of British Columbia

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