Human Activity Driving Mass Extinction
By admin May 22, 2019

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Pollution, global climate change, and growing income inequalities are major problems in the world. There is another issue that needs greater attention: extinction. Saving our planet is necessary for the present and future generations. We have a great responsibility to correct the negative environmental impact to slow the rate of extinction.

According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES), more than one million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction. One hundred forty-five experts compiled and analyzed 15,000 scientific papers and government reports that assess changes over the past five decades. More than 40 percent of amphibian species, almost 33 percent of coral reefs and more than a third of all marine mammals are under threat, and at least 680 vertebrate species have gone extinct since the 16th century.

The authors of the report named the top five drivers for biodiversity extinctions as changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution, and invasive alien species. Professor Robert Watson, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Anglia, said that this crisis poses serious consequences on human health, prosperity, security and the future of modern society by eroding the foundation of economies, livelihoods and food security. Watson said we need ‘transformative change’ starting at every level from local to global. This change includes a system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values. The Report emphasizes a need to develop integrated management of landscapes, so trade-offs are balanced between food and energy production, infrastructure, freshwater and coastal management, and nature conservation.

Insects like bees are invaluable in the food chain and contribute to pollination. There are about 25,000 bee species worldwide, and thousands of bee species are facing extinction at an unprecedented rate. In Europe, 37 percent of bees have experienced a rate of decline and nine percent face extinction. Bees are the linchpin in nature and of modern agriculture as they pollinate trees, and the flora that feeds other insects, birds and mammals in the food chain. Spices, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, coffee, and fodder for live stock are boosted by bee pollination. The annual contribution of pollination services to the global economy is estimated at $577 billion. Bavaria’s state governor, Markus Söder announced a “save the bees” petition signed by 1.75 million people that demanded 20 percent of farming to be bee-friendly within six years and 30 percent by 2030 to reverse the decline of flora and fauna.

The IPBES Report also noted that more than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production. The world’s human population more than doubled to 7.7 billion since 1970, which has directly increased industrial food production practices. Further, since 1980, plastic pollution has increased tenfold, leaving 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge, and other waste dumped into the world’s waters.

International agreements already in place that address climate change and sustainable development deserve the highest level of cooperation from its signatories. Knowing that this many species on this planet are facing extinction at an accelerated rate due to human activity is grim. Everyday actions individuals take to become more aware of the problem and change their behavior to adopt more sustainable practices will help support the necessary ideological change governments need in order to enact laws, policies and regulations aimed at prioritizing nature.


For more information:

UN Report: 1 Million Animal And Plant Species At Risk Of Extinction

One million species threatened with extinction because of humans

The selfish case for saving bees: it’s how to save ourselves

Business in the Age of Mass Extinction

Thanks for sharing !

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