Humans endanger 1 million species – UN

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Human activity killing one million species

Human activity, usually some sort of commercialisation of wildlife or natural resources, puts 1 million species on the planet at risk of extinction according to a United Nations report on biodiversity.

Picture in public domain or fair use.

This is a comprehensive assessment and the first of its kind since 2005. It involved 500 experts from 50 countries. The researchers looked at thousands of studies and scientific sources. They concluded that the threat to wildlife by human activity poses as big a threat as climate change.

This is because people rely on many animals for “ecosystem services”. This means, for example that some animals clean the environment.

The irony is that, the blind, orphaned (from nature) human is in his exploitation of wildlife and destruction thereof endangering the well-being of humankind. And time is pressing. The window of opportunity to act is closing said Sir Robert Watson, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

The report should spur people into action but I don’t believe that it will because unless people can see it and feel it they don’t act upon it. It’s just one of the bad traits of humankind.

However, it is future generations who will suffer. Our sloppiness with respect to conservation of wildlife on the planet is mortgaging the future. The authors of the research want countries to come together for a conference along the lines of the climate change conferences to tackle this issue on a global scale.

Conservationists including Chris Packham and Dame Jane Goodall signed a letter by WWF in which they ask governments to work harder on conservation.

“Nature provides us with the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. We depend on it to grow crops, to source our medicines, to house us and to clothe us. When we destroy nature, we destroy the essentials on which we all depend. There is still time to protect what is left and to start restoring nature. But to do that, we must radically change the way we live, including how we use energy to power our societies, grow food and manage waste.”

WWF letter

Michael Gove, the UK’s environment secretary, said that the report should encourage the government redouble their efforts to make real changes. Let’s wait and see. I have little confidence because we’ve had reports like this for decades and nothing has happened and arguably it’s got worse.