Breaking! New Report Warns That Action Must Be Taken Before One Million Species Go Extinct In The Wild

UN report that was issued today by 150 of the world’s leading scientists paints a sobering picture of the natural world; and the blame for the damage lies solely at humanity’s feet. Almost one million species face extinction, essential crops are under threat, and our oceans are being overfished.

According to Campaign for Nature, there is an urgent need for world leaders to commit to an ambitious global deal to protect nature and, therefore, life on Earth.

The global assessment from the UN-mandated Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) — a sibling organization of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — finds that the loss of nature and the resulting wildlife extinction crisis is even worse than previously understood.

“Nature faces a crisis with devastating consequences for human health and wellbeing,” said Brian O’Donnell, director of the Campaign for Nature. “However, it’s not too late to turn it around. To address the seriousness of the problem, governments must now commit to protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030.”

While nations have made some progress towards protecting critical natural areas—currently about 15% of land and 7% of the ocean—scientists agree that nowhere near enough progress has been made.

Among the report’s recommendations, the experts call for more protected areas, such as parks, wildlife refuges, and indigenous protected areas, alongside a robust commitment to massively increase funding for conservation. The global assessment reinforces other recent warnings from scientists that governments must tackle the crisis in nature with the same urgency as climate change.

“If we care about other forms of life, if we care about the future of our children, if we care about a secure environment or achieving development targets, then there is only one path when it comes to the natural world: We need to secure what is left. We need to secure half of the planet by 2050 with an interim target of 30% by 2030,” said Jonathan Baillie, executive vice president and chief scientist at the National Geographic Society. “To achieve these goals, then we must restore nature and drive innovation. Only then will we leave future generations a healthy and sustainable planet.”

Nearly 100 groups around the world, including indigenous peoples, conservation organizations, and philanthropic foundations, agree.

The global assessment underlines the important contribution of indigenous people, who have historically done a better job of managing and preserving biodiversity than national governments. It also emphasizes that indigenous peoples manage or have tenure rights over significant areas of the world’s biodiversity, including some 37% of the world’s unprotected land that is still in a natural state.

“Conservation led by indigenous peoples and local communities is one of the most effective ways to protect nature,” said Francisco Von Hildebrand, director of Gaia Amazonas Foundation, a Campaign for Nature partner. “Any global new deal for nature must reflect and include the voices, priorities, and vision of indigenous communities around the world.”

“The health and prosperity of every person on our planet depends on our collective ability to better protect our lands, wildlife, and waters for future generations,” said Molly McUsic, president of the Wyss Foundation, a philanthropic organization that is investing more than $1 billion over the next decade to protect lands and oceans worldwide while encouraging others to contribute as well.

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