The Earth’s biological resources are vital to humanity’s economic and social development. As a result, there is growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been so great as it is today. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate.

Rockström et al. defined the planetary boundary for change in genetic diversity as the maximum extinction rate compatible with preserving the genetic basis of the biosphere’s ecological complexity. We retain the boundary level of <10 E/MSY (extinctions per million species-years). Another metric for biodiversity previously used is the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) develop by Steffen & al and which is used in several national application of the planetary boundaries concept.

The biodiversity threshold is significantly exceeded due to land use, resource exploitation, and climate change.

A specific factsheet including Belgian situation will be available for download June 24.

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