The Biodiversity Crisis

Biodiversity loss represents a major environmental crisis, since species loss can destabilize ecosystems and threaten a sustainable future for humanity. Currently more than 1 million species are at risk of extinction, with agriculture and land use major culprits. Although these issues have run through many of our stories over the years, we decided to take a deeper look following a 2019 UN report on the staggering and accelerating loss of biodiversity. Since then there have been additional reports on the dramatic decline in insect and bird populations, often the result of unfavorable farming practices.

While the series examines these losses, we also highlight solutions to the biodiversity crisis. Indeed, farming can enhance biodiversity whether through methods that eschew pollinator-harming pesticides or through agroforestry systems that enhance species life. We’ve reported on these solutions from the grasslands of Oregon to the Amazon forest in northwest Brazil, from Bavaria, Germany, to the Gulf of Alaska.

In this Series