UN Reports 1 Million Species Facing Extinction
A warning report from the United Nations on Monday, May 6, states that humans currently threaten the extinction of one million species. Four hundred and fifty scientists converged in Paris this past week to generate the 1,500-page report that details what the increasing human population is doing to the environment.
The report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was coordinately approved by more than 130 nations. CNN prompts that the recent report re-introduces the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 6 months ago, stating that “the world has less than 12 years to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming.”
The report lists 5 main causes that explain why 1 million out of Earth’s 8 million plant and animal species are severely endangered. “Changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution [and] invasive alien species,” have been listed as the main objects of blame for Earth’s current negative state.
“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,” says IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson. Other scientists not involved in writing the report have also alluded that humans are digging our own graves by not seriously addressing this issue.
But Watson believes it is not too late for the human race, explaining that “if we start now at every level from local to global,” we can make a difference. The report also offers a solution to the planetary issues we are facing, a type of transformative change including worldwide recognition and restructuralization of all fields. “Technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values” are to be reorganized to aid in this change.
Many of the changes that can prevent the worst effects will require action by governments, companies, and citizens. Solutions include altering the way energy is produced, properly disposing of waste, more efficient production of food, and halting climate change. Thomas Lovejoy, known as the godfather of biodiversity, adds that “the biological diversity of this planet has been really hammered, and this is really our last chance to address all of that.”