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May 06, 2019 - GruntVegan

Earth's extinction rates accelerating with one million species threatened, UN warns

Earth's extinction rates accelerating with one million species threatened, UN warns

Humans are eroding nature, the very framework of our existence, at an unprecedented pace.

Our natural world, in which we live, is "the very foundation of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide", Sir Robert Watson, chair of the landmark United Nations report warns. But it is also home to millions of species both on land and in the world's lakes, rivers and oceans, not to mention plant life. 

One million species, in fact, may be pushed to extinction in the next few years, with serious consequences for human beings as well as the rest of life on Earth according the landmark report from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

“The evidence is crystal clear: Nature is in trouble. Therefore we are in trouble,” said Sandra Díaz, one of the co-chairs of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Anthropocentric forces such as deforestation, overfishing, development, and other human activities, is leading to the global decline in nature.

Based on a review of about 15,000 scientific and government sources and compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries, the global report is the first comprehensive look in 15 years at the state of the planet’s biodiversity. This report includes, for the first time, indigenous and local knowledge as well as scientific studies, reported the National Geographic.

"Ecosystems, species, wild populations, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are shrinking, deteriorating or vanishing. The essential, interconnected web of life on Earth is getting smaller and increasingly frayed," said Prof. Josef Settele (Germany) who co-chaired the Assessment. "This loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes a direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world."

"The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global," he said. "Through 'transformative change', nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably - this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values."


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