Conserve Wildlife Blog

UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

May 14th, 2019

Story by: Alison Levine

A new report into human impacts on nature shows that nearly one million species risk becoming extinct within decades and that current efforts to conserve the earth’s resources will likely fail without radical action, UN biodiversity experts said this week. The report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) found that grave impacts on people around the world are now likely.

The report identifies five main drivers of this unprecedented decline: changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution, and invasion of alien species.

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. “The report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” he said.

Global efforts must include the adoption of integrated management approaches that take into account the trade-offs of food and energy production, infrastructure, freshwater and coastal management, and biodiversity conservation, according to the report. Also identified as a key element of a more sustainable future is the evolution of international financial and economic systems to build a sustainable global economy, steering away from the current limited paradigm of economic growth.

On a local level there is a lot we can do here in New Jersey. You can start right in your own backyard by creating native plant habitat to attract pollinators and other native wildlife or installing a bat house, bird house, feeder, or water source.

Other actions you can take here in the Garden State include volunteering for an organization like CWF and contributing to efforts to protect or restore at-risk species of wildlife. The risk is great, and the time to act is now.

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