CSLA Encourages Stronger Action on the Biodiversity Crisis


14 December 2022

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) Calls on Governments to Commit to a Better Relationship with Nature

CSLA is proud that the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework commits to conserving at least 30% of terrestrial, inland water and coastal and marine areas, and especially areas of importance for biodiversity, through ecologically representative, well-connected and equitably governed systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. Learn more about the Framework.

The CSLA urges governments at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 in Montréal to commit to strengthened global conservation and biodiversity goals by protecting at least 30 percent of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems by 2030 (30 x 2030). According to the United Nations, one-million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, seventy-five percent of the Earth’s ice-free land surface and two-thirds of the oceans have been significantly altered by humanity. National governments must increase investment and support for ecosystem conservation and restoration and climate adaptation over the next decade.

In 2019, the International Federation of Landscape Architects, of which the CSLA is a member, declared a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency. This declaration affirms landscape architects’ commitment to a significant, long-term shift in thinking, behavior, policy. For almost 200 years, the profession of landscape architecture has sought to bridge the gap between the natural and the built environment by designing with nature.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C warned in 2018 that unless significant reductions in emissions are attained before 2030, increases in the mean global temperature will surpass 1.5°C. The IPCC concluded that society has only 12 years left in which to make these changes to avoid the anticipated and more severe risks predicted of a 2°C change.

Today, almost five years later, the earth has continued to experience record breaking global and local temperatures, rapid glacial and artic sea ice loss, drought and wildfires and repeated extreme weather events. Climate change has already significantly affected most terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems and species. In 2013 the IPBES2 (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) reported that there had already been an unprecedented decline in natural life, with over 1 million species at growing risk of extinction. Unless transformative changes are made by society, we will continue to erode the foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and the quality of life worldwide. 

In 2020, the United Nations began to focus on the linkages between the natural and built environments, placing an emphasis on nature-based solutions as one of the pathways to advancing progress on the SDGs. Nature-based solutions, not a new concept for landscape architects, are now seen as an integral tool in the battle to reduce atmospheric green-house gas emissions, and to ensure sustainability in environments and communities.

Throughout the globe, human communities are increasingly threatened by severe weather events, with growing suffering to individuals and populations and expanding costs to societies and economies. To date, our response has simply not been enough.

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