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1 Million Animal and Plant Species are at Risk of Extinction

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    10th May, 2019
  • The report Global Assessment published by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), found that up to one million of Earth’s estimated eight million plant, insect and animal species is at risk of extinction, many within decades.
  • The report said, this loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes a direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world.

Context

  • The report Global Assessment published by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), found that up to one million of Earth’s estimated eight million plant, insect and animal species is at risk of extinction, many within decades.
  • The report said, this loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes a direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world.

About

Major findings of the report:

  • 75% of Earth’s land surface and 66% marine environments have been “significantly altered”, and that “over 85%” of wetland area had been lost. But, on an average, these trends were less severe on areas controlled or managed by indigenous people and local communities (like tribal communities in India).
  • Forests:
    • 50% agricultural expansion that occurred was at the expense of forests.
    • There is 68% global forest area today compared with pre-industrial level.
  • Urbanisation:
    • There is 100% growth in urban areas since 1992.
    • There is 105% growth in human population since 1970.
    • There have been greater than 2500 conflicts over fossil fuels, water, food and land worldwide.
  • Ocean and fishing:
    • It is projected that there will be 3-10% decrease in ocean net primary production due to climate change alone.
    • There will be 10-25% decrease in fish biomass by the end of the century in low and high warming scenarios.
  • Climate Change:
    • There has been an increase in global average temperature by 1 degree as compared to pre-industrial level.
    • More than 3mm of sea level rise over last two decades.

What is IPBES?

  • The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent intergovernmental body, established by member States in 2012.
  • The objective of IPBES is to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.
  • UNESCO is an institutional co-sponsor of IPBES, together with UNEP, FAO and UNDP.

What does IPBES do?

The work of IPBES can be broadly grouped into four complementary areas:

  • Assessments:On specific themes (e.g. Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production); methodological issues (e.g. Scenarios and Modelling); and at both the regional and global levels (e.g. Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).
  • Policy Support: Identifying policy relevant tools and methodologies, facilitating their use, and catalyzing their further development.
  • Building Capacity & Knowledge: Identifying and meeting the priority capacity, knowledge and data needs of our member States, experts and stakeholders.
  • Communications & Outreach: Ensuring the widest reach and impact of our work.

Significance

  • Biodiversity and nature’s benefits to people underpin almost every aspect of human development and are key to the success of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
  • They help to produce food, clean water, regulate climate and even control disease. Yet they are being depleted and degraded faster than at any other point in human history.
  • IPBES is unique – harnessing the best expertise from across all scientific disciplines and knowledge communities – to provide policy-relevant knowledge and to catalyze the implementation of knowledge-based policies at all levels in government, the private sector and civil society.
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