Thierry Hance / Professor in Ecology

Earth and Life Institute, Biodiversity section, UcLouvain / Ecology

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My main concerns are related to the biodiversity crisis we are experiencing and the loss of natural habitats or their modification. Our economic system exerts a major pressure on natural resources and leads not only to an emblematic species disappearance but also more generally to a decrease in common species abundance which threatens the correct functioning of ecosystems. For instance, recent publications on the widespread decline in the abundance and diversity of insects around the world are particularly worrying because of their role in food webs and the recycling of organic matter. This biodiversity crisis is also a factor in accelerating climate change.
In this context, in my daily life, I try to make consumer choices as responsible as possible, including buying local and organic. I am convinced that by our purchasing power we can influence economic choices. I am also trying to limit the use of unnecessary packaging and waste. It’s not always easy because of the range of products on offer. Sometimes it also takes longer to make the most appropriate choices. As a family, apart from the sorting of waste, we compost all the organic waste that we recycle in the maintenance of the garden.
At the professional level, I am trying to find solutions for a real transition to a more environmentally friendly agriculture by seeking alternatives to the use of pesticides. I also think that communication and information are essential part of changing our way of life and whenever I have the opportunity, I try to raise awareness through conferences or articles
The key element of our economic functioning which leads to a frightful waste and destruction of resources is related to our capitalist and financial system whose ultimate priority is a relentless pursuit of profit by private companies. This search for profit as an economic engine is also generating profound inequality in our society. We must break this infernal cycle by placing human development at the center of economic activity in a permanent respect for nature.

Originally posted 2018-06-01 09:58:37.