The loss of biodiversity can lead to the extinction of the human species, warns UN

The loss of biodiversity crosses the 'red line' "We are starting the sixth extinction" The accelerated loss of biodiversity can lead to the extinction

The loss of biodiversity can lead to the extinction of the human species, warns UN

The loss of biodiversity crosses the 'red line'

"We are starting the sixth extinction"

The accelerated loss of biodiversity can lead to the extinction of the human species. Is the message compelling and bleak that it has launched Christian Pasca Palmer, executive director of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, which convened this month in Egypt to its 196 member states, in light of the recent report from the WWF that has given the voice of alert for the extinction of 60% of the population of vertebrate animals since 1970.

"The loss of biodiversity is a death silent," warns Pasca Palmer, in a statement to The Guardian. "It is different to climate change, whose impact can be felt in the daily life. The loss of biological diversity starts to be noticeable when it is already too late."

Cristiana Pasca Palmer, a former minister of Environment in Romania, aims to follow in the steps of the costa rican Christiana Figueres, who led the UN's action to address climate change and was the "godmother" of the Paris agreement. Palmer has to face the challenge of achieving an ambitious global agreement for the protection of the biodiversity conference that will be held in Beijing in 2020.

The two previous attempts in 2002 and in 2010, they crashed against the lack of political will (united States of America, in the age of Obama, participated as a mere "observer"). Since then, the scientific community has reached virtually to the consensus that we are witnessing the sixth mass extinction in the history of the planet, aided this time by human activity.

as dangerous as climate change

"The destruction of nature is as dangerous as climate change", warns Bob Watson, a chemist from the University of East Anglia that takes years to build bridges between the two pressing environmental problems. "Ecosystems are vital for the human species, are your life support. Without them, the production of food, generation of energy or the supply of water would be impossible. Nature also regulates the climate, mitigates pollution and is conducive to the pollination".

Watson is referred to the recent Living Planet report by the WWF, released makes barely a week, to illustrate the need for urgent action: "human actions are destroying nature at an unacceptable rate and are putting at risk our own well being and that of future generations".

The report of WWF, in collaboration with the Network's Global Footprint and the Zoological Society of London, analyzes 16.700 populations of 4000 species of vertebrate on the planet. In just four years, the decline has gone from 52% to 60%, in which the 59 scientists who collaborated in the study defined as "a massacre of wildlife."

The main cause of the loss of biodiversity is the degradació of natural habitats, principalente by agriculture, logging indiscrimada and urban pressure and overcrowding. Today, three-quarters of the planet have been subjected to the "human action". The commitment to increase the area protected from 10% to 17% of the surface of the planet has fallen on deaf ears.

poaching, cattle ranching, pollution...

The loss of population of species has been aggravated in the tropics: Central and South america has been an alarming decrease of 89%. Almost 20% of the Amazon has disappeared in the last 50 years and the trend, with the recent political changes, is to accelerate the destruction.

The overexploitation of species is another determinant of poaching to the intensive livestock, passing by the unsustainable practices of fishing. The pollution also affects directly and indirectly to the wild populations, as well as the arrival of invasive species, fueled in large measure in the last century the increase of temperatures.

For the first time this year, the scientific experts on climate change and on biodiversity have joined forces and have begun to coordinate their actions under the umbrella of the UN. Critiana Pasca Palmer warns that the close cooperation will be vital, but will require a shift in the public opinion and the political will to address the severity of the problem.

"nature is very resilient and there are cases hopeful of recovery of the ecosystems," warns the director of Biodiversity of the UN. "But the predictions that we face are very worrying: in 2050, Africa will have removable drives that are lost 50% of its mammals and birds, and the fisheries of Asia can be collapsed by those dates. The numbers are staggering... I Hope we are not the first species to document its own extinction."

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Updated Date: 25 November 2018, 20:00

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