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New report – half a million species for extinction within a few decades

A million species face extinction due to humans, UN report finds  https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17592216.a-million-species-face-extinction-due-to-humans-un-report-finds/  By Phil Miller, Arts Correspondent, 24 Apr 19, UP to a million species face extinction due to the actions of humanity, a new UN report finds.

The Agence France-Presse agency, based in Paris, has seen the draft of a report which catalogues how “humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.”

These include accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, carbon dioxide-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves.

The report, which says these issues are as important as climate change, is due to be officially published in early May.The 44-page Summary for Policy Makers distills a 1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of nature

Robert Watson, chair of the UN-mandated body that compiled the report, said: “We need to recognise that climate change and loss of nature are equally important, not just for the environment, but as development and economic issues as well.

“The way we produce our food and energy is undermining the regulating services that we get from Nature.”

The report says deforestation and agriculture, including livestock production, account for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and have wreaked havoc on natural ecosystems as well.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report warns of “an imminent rapid acceleration in the global rate of species extinction.”

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

“Half-a-million to a million species are projected to be threatened with extinction, many within decades.”

Scientists estimate that Earth is today home to some eight million distinct species, a majority of them insects.

Other findings in the report are that three-quarters of land surfaces, 40 percent of the marine environment, and 50 percent of inland waterways across the globe have been “severely altered”.

It says that many of the areas where nature’s contribution to human wellbeing will be most severely compromised are home to indigenous peoples and the world’s poorest communities that are also vulnerable to climate change.

It also says that subsidies to fisheries, industrial agriculture, livestock raising, forestry, mining and the production of biofuel or fossil fuel energy encourage “waste, inefficiency and over-consumption.”

April 25, 2019 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment

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