Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC) have created an interactive version of the report City Biodiversity Outlook 1 which was launched at the CBD COP in Hyderabad in 2012. With a video introduction narrated by Ed Norton it explores the explosion of urbanization projected over the coming decades – and both the environmental risks and opportunities this presents. Alongside the website is an extended report drawing on research from around the world. Urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services: Challenges and opportunities highlights how it is no-longer possible to construct a sound ecological science without explicit attention to urbanization as a key driver of global ecological change and of the imperative of reconnecting cities to the biosphere.
Principal themes in the report include not just the impact of urbanization on biodiversity, ecosystems and their function, but also how cities can present opportunities to help move towards a more sustainable future, providing that it is recognized that this will require solutions that are multi-scale, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder in engagement and responses. Among the potential opportunities of cities is their being hubs for information exchange, education and innovation. Alongside advances in information technologies we will see a new ‘arms race’ in the decades ahead between the issues of environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, and efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of human induced impacts in what is know widely called the anthropocine – as humans become a predominant force leaving an indelible imprint on the environment which will determine the future of our planet and life upon it.