Nature in worst shape in human history with 1 million species at risk of extinction, according to UN report

0
723

United Nations released a report on Monday that we all should be concerned of. According to it, one million species of animals and plants are at risk of extinction. An unprecedented situation in human history. Sadly, the only one to blame are human beings.

However, according to UN report on biodiversity, it is not too late to fix the problem. “We have reconfigured dramatically life on the planet,” report co-chairman Eduardo Brondizio of Indiana University declared, according to Associated Press.

The pace of species loss “is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years,” the report says.

From nearly eight million species of animals an plants that live on planet Earth, more than one million of them could vanish in the next years. And the scientists are blaming human activities to be led to climate change, pollution, loss of habitat and over-fishing, which are actually the main reasons of this mass extinction.

 

The report’s 39-page summary highlighted five ways people are reducing biodiversity:

— Turning forests, grasslands and other areas into farms, cities and other developments. The habitat loss leaves plants and animals homeless. About three-quarters of Earth’s land, two-thirds of its oceans and 85% of crucial wetlands have been severely altered or lost, making it harder for species to survive, the report said.

— Overfishing the world’s oceans. A third of the world’s fish stocks are overfished.

— Permitting climate change from the burning of fossil fuels to make it too hot, wet or dry for some species to survive. Almost half of the world’s land mammals — not including bats — and nearly a quarter of the birds have already had their habitats hit hard by global warming.

— Polluting land and water. Every year, 300 to 400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents and toxic sludge are dumped into the world’s waters.

— Allowing invasive species to crowd out native plants and animals. The number of invasive alien species per country has risen 70% since 1970, with one species of bacteria threatening nearly 400 amphibian species, Washington Post  reports.

“The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,” IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson said, quoted by USA Today.

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” he added.

And there is still hope, if we change our way. Humanity is still able to prevent these effects by changing the way we produce our food and our energy, dealing with global warming and climate change, the report also says.

“Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals,” Watson declared.