At the end of 2020, the Department of Territory and Sustainability of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the country’s biodiversity reference centres published the report on the State of Nature in Catalonia 2020.
The report explains to us in little more than 100 pages what is the state of conservation of our nature, and the data does not show a very stimulating scenario. In the last 20 years, the populations of native vertebrates and invertebrates for which data are available have lost an average of 25% of their individuals. The underlying cause of this loss of biodiversity is a socioeconomic model that intensifies the extraction of resources in certain areas and abandons others, which in the past had been used more sustainably. This loss of individuals is greater than 50% in the species that live in rivers, lakes and wetlands, 30% in those of agricultural environments and meadows and 10% in those of forests and thickets. At sea, the available data indicates a situation that is also unfavourable.
This report, analogous to those presented by the United Nations, the European Commission and the most advanced countries, shows that Catalonia is no stranger to the global emergency situation due to the loss of biodiversity.
The report represented the public covering note of the Observatory of the Natural Heritage and Biodiversity of Catalonia, a collaborative space called to become the reference entity to improve the organization, integration, treatment, dissemination and accessibility of information on nature in Catalonia, evaluate its state and properly guide management efforts. The Observatory, how could it be otherwise, has deep roots in the methodical and careful observation of nature and, therefore, the regular work of the participants in citizen science projects is an essential part.