"Species are going extinct at an unprecedented rate. Wildlife
populations have fallen by more than two-thirds over the last 50 years,
according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund. The sharpest
declines have occurred throughout the world’s rivers and lakes, where
freshwater wildlife has plummeted by 84% since 1970 – about 4% per year.
But why should we care? Because the health of nature is intimately
linked to the health of humans. The emergence of new infectious diseases
like COVID-19 tend to be related to the destruction of forests and
wilderness. Healthy ecosystems are the foundation of today’s global
economies and societies, and the ones we aspire to build. As more and
more species are drawn towards extinction, the very life support systems
on which civilisation depends are eroded.
Even for hard-nosed observers like the World Economic Forum,
biodiversity loss is a disturbing threat with few parallels. Of the nine
greatest threats to the world ranked by the organisation, six relate to
the ongoing destruction of nature.
Economic systems and lifestyles which take the world’s generous stocks
of natural resources for granted will need to be abandoned, but
resisting the catastrophic declines of wildlife that have occurred over
the last few decades might seem hopeless. For the first time, we’ve
completed a science-based assessment to figure out how to slow and even
reverse these trends.
Our new paper in Nature
featured the work of 60 co-authors and built
on efforts steered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Services. We considered ambitious targets for rescuing global
biodiversity trends and produced pathways for the international
community to follow that could allow us to meet these goals."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics