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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Biodiversity breakdown spells threat to human survival

Human activity could wipe out 1 mn animal and plant species in the coming decades, a landmark UN report has found. The 1,500-page report, which is based on thousands of scientific and government sources, is the most comprehensive study of its kind ever undertaken, forensically examines our impact on the planet’s biodiversity. According to its findings, changes in land and sea use are having the biggest direct impact on our ecosystems, while the exploitation of organisms, climate change, and pollution are also exacting a heavy toll. Rising populations, increasing consumption, technology, and governance are some of the most impactful indirect causes.

We’re going to have to step up our game if we’re going to prevent widespread ecological destruction: Global environmental targets will not be met if we maintain our current trajectory, the report says. The 2020 Aichi targets to limit damage to biodiversity are likely to be missed, and current goals for 2030 will not be achieved unless the international community acts to fundamentally transform our economic, social, political, and technological systems.

The summary of the report was published in Paris on Monday, and the full document will be released later this year.

The report is everywhere in the global press: Washington Post | New York Times | Associated Press | Reuters | Bloomberg | BBC.

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