Mother nature is in trouble: One million species threatened with extinction
According to a report by international experts from 50 countries across the world, of the around eight million plant and animal species on Earth, about one million risk extinction. Many of these species could be gone within a few decades.
Species disappearing at an alarming rate
The rate at which species are disappearing is unprecedented and is ten to hundreds of times faster than the average rate for the last 10 million years. Additionally, never before in the history of humankind have so many species been threatened with extinction. Researchers are sounding the alarm. If we act now, it is not too late to make a difference.
According to Robert Watson, director of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), humankind must make drastic changes to turn the tide and this needs to happen at all levels, from local to worldwide, in order to save nature and the species at risk. “By means of “transformative changes” nature can be preserved, restored and used in a sustainable way”.
The report sets forth that 40 percent of amphibians risk extinction, and at least 680 species of vertebrates have already gone extinct since the 16th century because of humans. Moreover, the number of invasive species in 21 countries, which keep detailed figures, has increased by a dramatic 70 percent since 1970.
Global action needs to be taken
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is now calling for a worldwide biodiversity deal, like the Paris Climate Agreement. Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of the Dutch branch of the WWF, “It is now time to take action worldwide and for us to take a stand together […] An international agreement and concrete measures are necessary to stop the loss of biodiversity and work on the restoration of nature.”
Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) feels that the Netherlands should take measures now. Ton Sledsens for Friends of the Earth Netherlands: “We need to stop the extra logging for energy, here in the Netherlands and worldwide. Gigantic areas of rainforest have been cut down for palm oil plantations and many animal species have been eradicated. Milieudefensie believes that the government should prevent banks from financing this”.