World facing 6th mass extinction

A new landmark UN report, based on thousands of scientific studies by 145 experts in 50 countries over 3 years, announced last week that the biodiversity of our planet is in peril. The report states that “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely…”

More than a million animal and plant species are said to be facing extinction, many of them within decades. We know the causes, and they’re mostly man-made — pollution, climate change, and activities like over-farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining.

The study’s authors warn that the world’s economies are threatened, as are the health and food supplies for populations around the globe.

Sir Robert Watson, chair of IPBES, the intergovernmental biodiversity panel that compiled the report, is emphatic that the effect of biodiversity loss is as foreboding for our planet and coming generations as is climate change. Fish are already disappearing around the world, and taps are running dry.

Watson emphasizes that this is not about just saving nature for nature’s sake: “…this report makes clear the links between biodiversity and nature and things like food security and clean water in both rich and poor countries.”

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