Biodiversity loss could cause humans to become the first species to document its own extinction

Biodiversity loss could cause humans to become the first species to document its own extinction

The world must turn its attention to the rapid biodiversity loss that is occurring around the world or humanity could become the first species to document our own extinction, warns the United Nation’s biodiversity chief.

Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, biodiversity typically measures variation at the genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Biodiversity is important because greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms.

According to an article by the Guardian, conservationists are desperate for a biodiversity accord that will carry the same weight as the Paris Climate Agreement. But so far, the subject has received little attention even though many scientists believe it poses the same level of threat as climate change.

Pașca Palmer, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, explained to the Guardian:

“The loss of biodiversity is a silent killer. It’s different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is happening, it may be too late.”

In 2010, under the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, nations promised to at least halve the loss of natural habitats, ensure sustainable fishing in all waters, and expand nature reserves from 10% to 17% of the world’s land by 2020. Many nations have fallen short and fallen behind in achieving those goals and biodiversity remains and underrepresented issue in global conversations.

Palmer added:

“Things are moving. There is a lot of goodwill. We should be aware of the dangers but not paralysed by inaction. It’s still in our hands but the window for action is narrowing. We need higher levels of political and citizen will to support nature.”

The AIDF Global Summit will return to Washington D.C, in 2019. 

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Photo credit: Flickr/ CameliaTWU

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