‘Ecological crisis’: 1 million species threatened with extinction

Nature is declining at rates “unprecedented in human history” and its loss is “accelerating with grave consequences”, according to the most comprehensive assessment of biodiversity ever made.

The landmark report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity (IPBES), published yesterday, was compiled by 145 experts from 50 countries over three years, assessing changes over the past five decades.

It found that around one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, many within decades. "The overwhelming evidence… presents an ominous picture," said IPBES chair, Sir Robert Watson. "The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide."

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