René-Marie Lafontaine / Chercheur

IRSNB-KBIN / Conservation Biologist

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

My main concern, as a conservation biologist, is the disappearance of our natural world, wildlife and birds in particular. I have been a naturalist since more than 50 years and a conservation biologist since more than 35 years now, working mostly in Europe but also in tropical and boreal environments.
I have now been lucky enough to have seen more than 6800 species of birds on this planet; but what worry me is that so many population of so many species I have seen are diminishing at a high rate. this is mostly due to direct destruction of their habitats here or abroad. The continuous increase of encroachment by our ever increasing human population on the natural world worries me seriously. I always aimed to contribute to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, to restore wildlife populations and habitats. Biodiversity conservation cannot be limited to protect only the species we need for our own survival. I feel very strongly that it is our responsibility to save as many species as possible, in particular all the large vertebrates.
My main contribution has been to survey and monitor the impact of our practices on protected or non-protected areas and to propose management measures to restore or maintain natural or more often semi-natural habitats.
Key changes needed: I consider that the only real way to solve the problem we are facing is to decrease our species footprint on the planet and the best way to do it is to decrease the human population. We represent now, ourselves and our domestics animals, more than 98% of the large vertebrates biomass. All the other large vertebrates represent only 2% of the biomass today and this percentage is still diminishing, this is not sustainable by any way. The growing human population (and the increase of our individual footprint) is the main problem to solve. We must also tend towards modifying in depth the current prevailing economic system, which is spinning out of control. Productivity must stop being seen as the ultimate objective. Regulations of the financial spheres must take place. Environmental issues – nature and climate – must be the number 1 issue on the agenda of everybody including politicians. There must be truly massive investments by our governments into saving nature, clean transportation systems, sustainable agriculture, and nature restoration (i.e. Green New Deal, New deal for nature & people).

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