Toronto A study assessing the impact on biodiversity due to increasing urbanization says that by the year 2030, nearly three million square kilometers of natural areas will be devastated and transformed into cities. Its size will be larger than the whole of Britain. Researchers surveyed over 900 studies and claimed this.
The study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, states that by the year 2030, 120 million people globally can migrate to urban areas. Researchers at Mc Gill University in Canada said, “This pace of development could create a new city the size of New York every six weeks.”
Andrew Gonzalez, a co-author of this study and researcher at McGill University, said, ‘Our understanding of the effects of the growing population of cities is important for future biodiversity goals but we need to refine our understanding and knowledge. If we are not able to do so, it may also affect our ability to formulate new and effective policies about urbanization.
Most affected in coastal areas
The study suggested that the direct impact of increasing urbanization on biodiversity would be more severe in tropical coastal areas such as China, Brazil, and Nigeria as the biodiversity levels here are quite high.
Need more study
In this study, the authors state that scientists are not studying the effects of urban development at the right places. Due to which the picture of increasing urbanization is not clear. He said that we need more studies to get a complete and clear picture of the effects on our nature due to urbanization.
The condition of low-income countries is worrying
Researchers said the expansion of cities in low-income countries in the Southern Hemisphere has caused the most damage to natural habitats, which is serious and worrisome. He said that to assess its effects more specifically, the areas around tropical rain forests, such as Brazil, West Africa and some areas of South-East Asia, need to be studied.
There is a dire need to curb urbanization
The study reported that 72 percent of the research has been done in high-income countries, where urbanization has the highest impact on biodiversity. Researchers claim that the situation may be more severe in low-income countries. Researchers said only 34 percent of the 922 studies quantified the indirect effects of urban development on biodiversity. He said that if we have to maintain biodiversity, then it will also have to rein in the increasing urbanization and population.