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A Call for Immediate Action on Biodiversity Loss

Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon [Public domain]

The humans are directly threatened by the destruction of nature. They carry a heavy responsibility in this situation which is deteriorating with each passing year. There is agreement among experts who gathered very recently in Paris (Conf. IPBES) that we are in the middle of the sixth mass extinction of living species on Earth. It is widely accepted that key reasons for this catastrophic development are of human origin: - the destruction of natural habitats such as forests, wetlands and grasslands - the industrial pollution - the overexploitation of resources - the climate change. It is estimated that half of all the species on our planet could go to extinct by 2050 (Re.Global Citizen). The following figures are startling. More than 20% of mammals have gone extinct since 1970 (Re:WWF). Nearly 40% of bird species throughout the world are in decline (Re:Cornell Lab.). About 75% of the commercial fish stocks are overexploited (Re.FAO). More than 40% of insect species are in decline worldwide (Re.Futura Planète). In 2010 almost 200 nations under the auspices of the UN (COP 10) agreed to set aside 17% of the world's land areas and also 10% of marine areas by 2020 in an effort to protect animals and plants from pollution and climate change. But even this minimum target will not be reached. The conclusion is clear: the actions taken by the governments around the world are woefully inadequate for the challenges ahead. For the time being, biodiversity is at risk to an extent unprecedented in human history.

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