A United Nations report has found that the analysis of a compilation of hundreds of academic studies by the world’s leading scientists reveals the shocking conclusion that human society is in jeopardy due to the loss of natural life and biomass on the planet, reported The Guardian.
A team of more than 450 scientists and diplomats worked on the study for over three years, analyzing how human activity has affected the quantity and health of plant and animal life. They looked at the decline in global biomass of wild mammals, the decline of natural ecosystems, the plant and animal species facing the threat of extinction, and the decline of naturally present land species.
The startling UN report, which received consensus from all nations involved, reveals that the global biomass of wild mammals has declined by 82 percent, roughly one million species are currently at risk of extinction, and natural ecosystems have lost about half of their total area on the planet.
The Global Assessment Report by the United Nations quantified the rate of destruction as tens to hundreds of times higher than the rate over the past 10 million years.
Robert Watson, the chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, has sent out an alarming message for human society to take immediate remedial action, per The Guardian.
Today, the @UN released a landmark report on the implications of biodiversity loss and prospects for people and nature. There is a critical interrelationship between biodiversity and #ClimateChange. @IPBES #GlobalAssessment https://t.co/c6rrDv1iPl pic.twitter.com/UN4TxYSlfl— Conservation Intl (@ConservationOrg) May 6, 2019
“The health of the ecosystems on which we and other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide. We have lost time. We must act now.”
One of the species that depends on the health of other ecosystems and species are humans. Land degradation has significantly reduced the productivity of global land by 23 percent while the populations of insects, crucial for plant pollination, have crashed, threatening crop output. Other changes include freshwater shortages and climate instability, both of which put human lives into jeopardy.
Policymakers have turned their focus to “transformative change” as the result of the report’s findings. Representatives from the world governments have met this past week to redefine trade laws, increase investments in forests and other natural infrastructures, and brainstorm ways to reach the population at the individual level to reduce meat consumption and material waste.
David Obura, one of the authors of the UN report, emphasized the need for transformative change.
“We tried to document how far in trouble we are to focus people’s minds, but also to say it is not too late if we put a huge amount into transformational behavioral change,” he said. “This is fundamental to humanity. We are not just talking about nice species out there; this is our life support system.”