UN Reports on the Economic Repercussions of Massive Declines in Biodiversity


photo: J. Novak

The UN's third Global Biodiversity Outlook report warned of the dire consequences associated with alarming biodiversity declines and losses of habitats. Since 1970, we've seen a 30 percent decline in wildlife species, according to Prof Joseph Alcamo, chief scientist of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).A recent report by UNEP told us what we already know, the sky rocketing losses in wildlife biodiversity are unsustainable, harming food sources, intensifying global warming, and harming industry.

Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said:

"Humanity has fabricated the illusion that somehow we can get by without biodiversity or that it is somehow peripheral to our contemporary world: the truth is we need it more than ever on a planet of 6 billion [people], heading to over 9 billion by 2050. Business as usual is no longer an option if we are to avoid irreversible damage to the life-support systems of our planet."

The study was made up of a number of indicators on current and future biodiversity including wildlife populations, their risk of extinction, and the degradation of wildlife habitats.

"Our analysis shows that governments have failed to deliver on the commitments they made in 2002: biodiversity is still being lost as fast as ever, and we have made little headway in reducing the pressures on species, habitats and ecosystems," said Stuart Butchart, the paper's lead author.

More on Biodiversity:
Biodiversity: The 'Cinderella' of the Environmental Agenda?
Shade-Grown Coffee Protects Tree Biodiversity
Pre-Columbian Farming Helped Increase Amazon Biodiversity

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