Biodiversity is in crisis according to many reports in 2018. Professor David Macdonald CBE DSc FRSE, at Oxford University, is quoted in the Guardian as saying “Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity”.
We've heard much over the past year or so about the plight of bees and the alarming fact that without bees to pollinate, we will have no fruit, nuts and vegetables. It’s not just losing bees that we need to worry about; all insects matter. They’re predators of pests, decomposers of waste and form the base of the many wild food chains that support ecosystems.
Biodiversity extends beyond bugs and bees – new types of medicine are harvested from nature, for example. Decreasing biodiversity even has an effect on the economy: biodiversity loss in Europe costs the continent about 3% of its GDP, or €450m (£400m), a year.
Engineering and science is also working to address environmental and sustainability issues in agriculture. In March this year, a team at the University of Glasgow found a new, more efficient way to reduce water use and improve plant growth.