Sunday 19 May 2019

UN environment warning: 10 key points and what Australia must do

From native species to Indigenous land management and water efficiency: Australia’s role in the extinction crisis

Tue 7 May 2019 09.59 BSTLast modified on Tue 7 May 2019 10.01 BST

A devastating new UN report shows the planet is in serious danger from the accelerating decline of the Earth’s natural life-support systems. Here we look at 10 of the key points from the report – and their relevance for Australia.

1. Human life will be severely impacted if we do not protect biodiversity

More than one million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction, including 40% of all amphibian species, 33% of reef-forming corals and a third of all marine animals.

Terrestrial native species have declined in abundance by 20% since 1990, and 690 vertebrate species have gone extinct since the 16th century.

Australia alone has lost 27 species of mammal in just over 200 years of colonisation.
If unchecked, loss of biodiversity could lead to the collapse of entire ecosystems.

“We are eroding the very foundation of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide,” the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services chair, Sir Robert Watson, said.

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