Academics Call for Global Action on Species Loss

Not a week goes by without another worrying headline about the accelerating loss of biodiversity worldwide. Even the much loved hippo and polar bear are now apparently on the endangered list. But what can be done to stem this threatening trend? A letter in this week’s edition of Nature, signed by 19 leading academics, is calling for a new global institution to be set up to try to halt, and even reverse this process. The letter argues that an Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity (IPB), which would parallel the existing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), would help re-focus the global community’s efforts on reaching some of the ambitious targets on biodiversity that have been established by previous treaties. As Alfred Oteng-Yeboah from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Ghanaian government's science advisory body told the BBC:

"We see [the new body] as a process to actually move the actions forward, to ensure that people get engaged in all kinds of activity that will actually halt the loss of biodiversity."

Unfortunately the letter itself does not appear to be accessible via Nature’s website, but the BBC has a very informative report here. [Written by: Sami Grover]