Paris, May 6. A new report published by IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), an international group of experts under the umbrella of the United Nations, presented a grim picture of the state of the plants’biodiversity. One out of four species of flora and fauna are currently at risk, with human activities threatening them “more than ever”.
Worldwide, nature has been significantly altered by human drivers, with the great majority of indicators of ecosystems in rapid decline. The report, the first of its kind since 2005, analyses the main causes of this sensational change in biodiversity since 1970, namely changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change, pollution, and invasion of alien species.
IPBES recalls that biodiversity “is essential for human existence and good quality of life. Most of nature’s contributions to people are not fully replaceable, and some are irreplaceable”. Biodiversity in crops is crucial for long-term food security, while as now it “lacks effective protection”, while the status of wild relatives of domesticated mammals and birds “is worsening”. This means that farming will likely be less resilient against future climate change, pests and pathogens.
Sir Robert Watson, IPBES Chair, declared that: “The loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is already a global and generational threat to human well-being. Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge of decades to come. Policies, efforts and actions - at every level - will only succeed, however, when based on the best knowledge and evidence”.