Since the appearance of animals in the history of the earth, there have been five drastic species extinctions.

Quite a few researchers now see a sixth approaching: 38 percent of the net plant production in the biosphere is already in the service of human use.

Biodiversity is therefore in steep descent.

In order to put a stop to it, larger areas would have to be withdrawn from people.

A proposal to be discussed at a UN conference in Kunming, China at the end of April aims to place 30 percent of all land and sea areas on earth under nature protection.

A research group led by Roslyn Henry from the University of Edinburgh has now calculated in

Nature Sustainability

what the associated renunciation of the use of land as agricultural land would mean for feeding the world population.

They believe that strict implementation of such plans would cost around 200,000 lives by 2040, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia.

Because it is precisely in the species-rich tropics that people can afford less of the more expensive, because scarce, foods, including purely plant-based ones.

It is not often that such conflicting goals are named so harshly.

One likes to imagine that everything will be fine with regard to the destruction of nature if global nutrition is only local, ecological and meatless.

However, one should perhaps get used to the idea that this is not enough.

If nature has more to lose in the poorer regions of the world, then the richer part must subsidize nature conservation there, also with food supplies and permanently, not as development aid.

The dependencies that this creates or perpetuates will be criticized.

But the dependencies are mutual.

Either way, we can't get out of the globalization thing.