UCLA’s Ted Parson talks biodiversity and the U.N. report on KPCC’s “Take Two”

May 9, 2019

Ted Parson, faculty co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA, was interviewed on KPCC-FM’s Take Two about the United Nations assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The report, which was released in summary form on May 6, 2019, details the effects of human activity on habitats, ecosystems, and species. In the segment, Parson reminded listeners that human impact on biodiversity goes beyond climate change: “A lot of people, when they think of environmental threats happening, think only of climate change. But it’s important to understand that climate change is just one of several big, nasty global problems.”

The Santa Monica Mountains are home to some of Los Angeles’ most incredible biodiversity (Photo Credit: Mike Appel)

As the U.N.’s assessment states, the top five biggest threats to biodiversity include “(1) changes in land and sea use (loss of habitat); (2) direct exploitation of organisms; (3) climate change; (4) pollution; and (5) invasive alien species.”

To address these issues locally, the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge (SLA GC) is working with the City of Los Angeles on the first Los Angeles-specific biodiversity index. The SLA GC is also working with Los Angeles County on the first-ever Sustainable County Plan, which includes biodiversity related targets for the region, such as no loss in native biodiversity or natural area. In addition, the SLA GC is supporting research that helps monitor our region’s native biodiversity and map its distributions to inform the most effective management strategies.

Listen to the full KPCC segment here.