UN report on biodiversity: one million species threatened with extinction
Greenpeace.org, May 7 2019
The latest UN report on biodiversity, warns about the massive loss of species due to human impacts, should trigger urgent measures to protect the world’s forests and oceans and lead to a radical change in agriculture and production and consumption food. “Forests, peatlands and coastal marine ecosystems must be protected or restored. The combination of biodiversity conservation with the drastic reduction of CO2 emissions and the increase of carbon storage in nature can contribute significantly to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C.
The Global Assessment report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warned that 1 million species are in danger of extinction, more than at any time in the history of the humanity.
The report added that most of the global 2020 targets for nature protection described in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (Aichi biodiversity targets) will not be met, which will undermine half of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) ) of the United Nations.
The Greenpeace Germany forest and climate activist, Dr. Christoph Thies, said: “This is a devastating reality. Governments must begin to put people and the planet ahead of corporate interests and greed and act with the urgency demanded by this report. Leaders must adopt sound targets and implementation plans to protect biodiversity with the participation and consent of Indigenous Peoples and local communities at the world nature summit in China next year (COP15). Speculation has taken nature to the edge, putting our own survival in jeopardy due to the overexploitation of the natural world and the worsening of climate change. ”
This report is not just a call to action. It is the last of many warnings and, if we are not careful, it may be the last before the losses become irreversible. The conservation and restoration of biodiversity can play an enormous role as natural climate solutions and it is time for us to fight against climate change by protecting the nature that sustains us.
“Forests, peatlands and coastal marine ecosystems must be protected or restored. The combination of biodiversity conservation with the drastic reduction of CO2 emissions and the increase of carbon storage in nature can contribute significantly to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C. These are the essential and immediate actions that can help us to return from the edge of the abyss “.
The IPBES report reveals that human actions have “significantly altered most of the area, both land and sea.” He indicated that: 40% of the world’s marine environment is showing a “serious alteration” of human pressures and that the “richness and abundance” of all levels of marine life is in decline. ”
Louisa Casson from Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign notes that: “Our oceans sustain all life on Earth. However, most of the international collaboration has focused on the best way to exploit marine life and this precious shared environment. Instead of looting the seas for short-term gains, governments should put equity and sustainability at the center of their focus on the oceans. ”
The report confirms that the existing mechanisms to protect our oceans do not work. Today, only 1% of global seas are protected and there is no legal instrument that allows the creation of sanctuaries in international waters.
“We need a Global Oceans Treaty to protect at least 30% of our global oceans by 2030. This is a unique opportunity for governments to work together to safeguard life, ensure the food security of millions of people and create healthy oceans that they are our best ally against a changing climate “.
The IPBES report warned that the key drivers of change in nature, such as land use change, the exploitation of organisms, climate change and consumption levels have accelerated to unprecedented levels.
Greenpeace international food and agriculture advocate Eric Darier emphasized: “We welcome the call for urgent action on dietary changes towards more plant-based foods to reduce meat and dairy consumption, which has been documented the negative impacts on biodiversity, climate change and human health “.
“Any increase in agricultural space required for animal feed for industrial livestock is a key driver of change in land use through deforestation and habitat destruction. Addressing the consumption of meat and dairy products should become a priority for policy makers, so that by 2050 meat consumption and production will be reduced globally by 2050. ”