About us

The Biodiversity Alliance is a politically independent, non-profit organization, registered in Switzerland on 04.September 2015 under Id.#: CHE-275.349.746 by the Commercial Registration Office of Canton Zürich.

A planet, where our global human society lives in balance with the biosphere, and where the natural heritage of generations is preserved and respected for its inherent values.
We advocate aims that we believe our global human society should proceed towards in order to approach a future world where humans maintain a healthy, balanced ecosystem in a sustainable way.

Stable Population Level
Imagine for a moment this planet, with the current level of technology and a similar number of human beings as – say – only 40 years ago, which was around 4 billion.

Wouldn’t it be easier to provide everyone with a reasonable supply of food, access to healthcare, education, work and a healthy environment whilst preserving our natural heritage?

A stable population alone however, even at a relatively low level, cannot guarantee a balance with the ecosystem. (Stable meaning ‘relatively stable’, allowing for fluctuations.)

With this in mind the question to ask is: At which population level is it still possible to live in balance with the ecosystem, with the biosphere?

It leads us to ask: When can we say that the relationship between the ecosystem and global human society is balanced?

One possible answer is, when the aggregated annual consumption of humans does not exceed the annual yield (surplus) of planetary ecosystem services.

According to the WWF Planetary report 2014 global human consumption exceeded 1.5 Earth capacity. What does this mean?

It means that in 2014 we consumed 50% more than the annual yield of global ecosystem services, and it is possible ONLY BECAUSE we consumed not only the surplus but also the yielding population. We eat not only the eggs but also the chickens from which we expect eggs.

Sustainable Well-being
“The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future.”

“Conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of men.”
Both quotes are from Gifford Pinchot, American forester and politician, and both are over 100 years old.

Sustainable well-being is generally understood as our obligation to restrict our (present) consumption of natural resources in order to allow future generations to access a similar level and quality of natural resources.

There is a tendency though to use the term ‘sustainable development’ in a different way. In business it frequently means that business is expected to develop, so it is the increase of profit which is sustainable rather than the state of the ecosystem which the business puts pressure upon.

Sustainable Development Goals are nicely described on the UN’s website. Having these goals set (on paper) it is obvious that there is an inherent promise behind them. It is the promise that all of these goals can be achieved REGARDLESS of the number of human beings living on this planet. We see a problem here.

Global Stewardship
Living creatures on this planet, including humans, share a set of global ‘commons’, such as the air, the high seas, fresh water, pastures, forests, wildlife.

Though pastures, forests and freshwater bodies reside on the territory of specific countries, they are obviously exposed to adverse effects generated elsewhere, even on the opposite side of the globe, such as heat waves, lack of rain or polluted air.

Forests are not only resources for timber but sources of oxygen, which is again part of the global commons.
The resources on this planet available to share among 7.4+ billion people – still growing exponentially – are scarce. This is one of the main reasons behind the wave of migration we witness on a growing scale.

Many of us like to eat fish, but the large fish population in the oceans has already collapsed. We all need fresh air and oxygen but rainforests are being clear-cut and burned in South America, Africa and South-East Asia.

The continuing contest among ‘sovereign’ countries to take available resources is undoubtedly leading to the collapse of those resources. Managing global commons in a wise, coordinated way is a necessity to secure resources for ourselves even in the short term.

Carbon Neutral Economy
“To limit atmospheric CO2 to 450ppm and global mean surface temperature rise to 2C above the pre-industrial period, we must limit the total CO2 [emission] budget to 500 Gigatonne. Given we burn around 35 GT each year globally, that leaves us 15 years to reduce CO2 and other GHG emission to ZERO.”
Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research:
Climate models that constrain warming versus not to 2C above the pre-industrial (period)
Meinhausen et al. 2009;
Nature 2009, 458:1158-1162

Allied Efforts
The task in front of us is huge and challenging. But it is by magnitude less challenging and complicated than sending an automated, computerized robot vehicle to the Mars. NASA Jet Propulsion Lab could solve the latter one. Like minded people together can solve the foremost. To solve it only one thing is required: determination.
Realization of each of these aims together can bring us the desired result, a balanced coexistence of the human population with the biosphere.

The aims in our mission are sound counterpoints to a few principal causes not only behind the rapid deterioration of our global ecosystem, but also behind the highly distorted share of goods, social unbalance, unrest and climate change itself.

Anthropogenic Pressure - Overpopulation
There are those who argue that Planet Earth is far from being overpopulated, since the whole population of the Earth could fit into an area like Texas.

Others argue that even if there are severe problems with the number of people on Earth – like food, water and energy supply – all these problems could and will be solved by further technological development, more efficient fertilizers and GMOs.

Even others argue that the Earth is not only overpopulated now but it was significantly overpopulated 40 years ago already. A train of thought supporting this conclusion can be found here.

A sustainable human population size is not about knowing how many humans could be fed if all the available space was transformed into arable area, leaving no land for pristine natural environment, but about knowing which population size could live in reasonable good conditions whilst our biosphere also remains abundant, and flourishing with the species living around us today.

Growth-driven Economy
Undiscerning upholders of the total freedom of capital flow and investment argue that it is the only way to set the course for economic growth.

Observing the inherent logic of stock markets it can be seen that shareholders, especially the major ones, are interested in nothing else but keeping the company on an ever-growing orbit, as the only way of securing their share earnings.

The consequence of this is that if a certain segment of consumer needs has been fully saturated, there is no more need for a certain product or service, or if the need has stabilised, it is essential to create – even artificially – some sort of new need to make a market for further production and a further influx of profit.

More than that, as Yanis Varoufakis explained at his TED Global Talks: “…[capitalism] is a little bit like a population of predators, that are so successful in decimating the prey they must feed on, that in the end they starve.”

Capitalism – at least its recent incarnation – is slowly eating up its own basis of existence, including the biosphere. In fact, we can observe that the engines of the current global economic system are transforming natural treasures into fat bank accounts held by a minority.

Tragedy of Global Commons
Garrett Hardin wrote in 1968 in his epoch-making article “The Tragedy of the Commons“:

“… man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit – in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.

The individual benefits as an individual from his ability to deny the truth even though society as a whole, of which he is a part, suffers.”

It appears that we see ourselves in the future as generous individuals doing no harm of any kind to the common good. But in the present we tend to focus on the short term benefit of extracting as much from the commons as we can, even if the devastating consequences of doing so is known to us. We find some excuse for ourselves and take what we can.

The subject in Hardin’s train of thought is to illustrate the tragedy of the commons in the form of a pasture. Let’s note that for 7.3+ billion people this ‘pasture’ is planet Earth, with its complete biosphere from the deepest point of the oceans to the tropopause being global commons, and we see this tragedy in action right now all over the globe.

The Global Commons have a higher value and deserve precedence over personal freedom or commercial interest.

Climate Change and Global Warming
The combination of climate change and a rising global mean temperature is not actually a root cause but a consequence: the consequence of the huge amount of fossil fuel that has been burnt by humans. Sadly this consequence has become a global scale process, which has grown largely independent from human will and developed into an individual, similarly destroying factor like other root causes.

Even if we stopped dumping CO2 and other GHG into our atmosphere, the amount dumped there during the last 4-5 decades is already sufficient to generate a greenhouse effect and a global mean temperature rise for the coming millennia.

In the summer of 2016 on the Southern hemisphere saw the most severe El Nino effect so far, leading to coral bleaching, and a nearly 100% die-off of species like Giant clams in certain areas.

Fragmented Conservation Efforts
Economic and financial players realized long ago that large scale challenging tasks can be performed only by joint and focused effort. Free trade agreements were invented to eliminate barriers of free market, free competition and capital
concentration. In agreements like TTIP, joint forces of business stakeholders gained a position in which they could sue a sovereign government even for endangering their business profitability.

In sharp contrast, conservation organizations are acting individually, mostly without any coordination and attempt to exercise their activity on those limited areas which have not yet been considered by business and not yet been seized by human settlements.

Our aims listed above are not new at all. There are charity organizations advocating them, not so very many though. What we haven’t seen so far is an organization advocating each of these aims.

We believe they must be pursued together, otherwise the vision cannot be achieved.

We live in a finite world – on Planet Earth.
No balance is possible with an ever-growing human population.
No balance is possible if we all individually increase our consumption on an on-going basis.
No balance is possible if the global commons, like the high seas, are everybody’s plunder.

These are principal problems. Root causes must be brought to the surface and kept in the center of attention in order to build a global consensus, which is acceptable not only for 1% of the population but also for the rest. For those whose problem is not how to build their wealth, but how to survive a day.

Biodiversity loss is not a scientific problem. It is a global, social and economic problem. Not least because many species provide us with crucial services, just think of pollinators like honey bees. Due to the complexity of dependencies and inter-dependencies among species, driving species extinct can – and DOES, as we speak – lead to the collapse of the web of life.

The majority of conservation organizations, small and large alike, invest all their efforts in saving habitats from further loss and damage, in saving species threatened by extinction. Professionals and volunteers, even politicians talk about the adverse effects of an increased human ecological footprint, over-consumption, pollution and climate change. These are real problems, however they are just the manifestations of the principal problems. Hence the tremendous, often self-sacrificing efforts spent to resolve them won’t necessarily lead to long term results. The fever is being cured instead of the disease.

We believe that the disease must be cured to get rid of the fever.

Root causes however are considered to be taboos and voices addressing them are usually suppressed by the mainstream media, owned by major profit takers.

On the one hand, it is because the root causes make up the fundamental aspects of the global economic system, whilst on the other hand they serve the very interest of major economic, financial and political players on a global level. Maintaining the status quo seems to be a guarantee for the everlasting increase of wealth for some.

We are seeing that the human population is running into a catastrophe by destroying its own life- supporting system and has already caused global-scale adverse changes on this planet due to exploding populations and a sheer short term, profit-focused, selfish mindset.

The efforts made so far to protect biological diversity, which is the most critical source of our life- supporting system, by the multitude of fragmented conservation-oriented organizations and individuals are nowhere near enough to stop and reverse the deterioration of the planetary ecosystem.

We believe that human beings, currently the most capable species on Earth, must recognize the quickly approaching collapse of the ecosystem resulting from our exploitation of the global commons, and through social arrangements we must collectively act to stop – and reverse if possible – all those human-caused adverse effects that we are able to and for which we possess the knowledge and capacity.