As part of The Law Society's Horizon Scanning project and in the run-up to the UN Biodiversity Conference to take place in December 2022, we look at the trend of biodiversity loss and how this will challenge businesses and the entire legal profession as a result.
Biodiversity is the diversity of life, which arises from all living organisms, including plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms. It is fundamental to the functioning of ecosystems, and humans, business and society at large are directly reliant on the contributions that nature provides – yet more than one million animal and plant species are currently threatened with extinction. It is well known that human activities have substantially contributed to this loss of biodiversity, and efforts are now being made to reverse the decline and to hold those who are responsible to account.
Within this context, Clyde & Co have examined two trends related to biodiversity in a report published by The Law Society, specifically biodiversity's current decline and what we hope to be its future restoration, and how these trends challenge the legal profession in a myriad of unprecedented ways. We discuss the gradual development of the legal understanding of nature; where the responsibility for past biodiversity loss may lie; and how stewardship of biodiversity is crucial for its restoration in the years to come. Our report is published as part of The Law Society's Horizon Scanning project, which looks at potential risks to the legal sector and those who practise within it over the next five to 10 years.
There is likely to be an increased focus on biodiversity loss and its potential for significant disruption to businesses in the run-up to the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15), which has been postponed on a number of occasions and will now be held in Canada in December of this year.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.