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UN: Loss Of Biodiversity Could Mean End Of Human Race

UN: Loss Of Biodiversity Could Mean End Of Human Race

UN officials gathered at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Japan have issued a global warning that the rapid loss of animal and plant species that has characterized the past century must end if humans are to survive.

Delegates in Nagoya plan to set a new target for 2020 for curbing species loss, and will discuss boosting medium-term financial help for poor countries to help them protect their wildlife and habitats (Yahoo Green).

“Business as usual is no more an option for mankind,” CBD executive secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf said in his opening statements. “We need a new approach, we need to reconnect with nature and live in harmony with nature into the future.”

The CBD is an international legally-binding treaty with three main goals: conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of biodiversity; fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Its overall objective is to encourage actions which will lead to a sustainable future.

As Djoghlaf acknolwedged in his opening statements, facing the fact that many countries have ignored their obligation to these goals is imperitive if progress is to be made in the future.

“Let us have the courage to look in the eyes of our children and admit that we have failed, individually and collectively, to fulfil the Johannesburg promise made to them by the 110 Heads of State and Government to substantially reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2010,” Djoghlaf stated. “Let us look in the eyes of our children and admit that we continue to lose biodiversity at an unprecedented rate, thus mortgaging their future.”

Earlier this year, the U.N. warned several eco-systems including the Amazon rainforest, freshwater lakes and rivers and coral reefs are approaching a “tipping point” which, if reached, may see them never recover.

According to a study by UC Berkeley and Penn State University researchers, between 15 and 42 percent of the mammals in North America disappeared after humans arrived. Compared to extinction rates demonstrated in other periods of Earth’s history, this means that North American species are already half way to to a sixth mass extinction, similar to the one that eliminated the dinosaurs.

The same is true in many other parts of the world. The third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook demonstrates that, today, the rate of loss of biodiversity is up to one thousand times higher than the background and historical rate of extinction.

The Earth’s 6.8 billion humans are effectively living 50 percent beyond the planet’s biocapacity in 2007, according to a new assessment by the World Wildlife Fund that said by 2030 humans will effectively need the capacity of two Earths in order to survive.

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Image Credit: Flickr - Dano

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168 comments

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9:14AM PDT on May 18, 2014

Let's make a difference together .... the time is right

6:43PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

If we are to succeed---the task is great-- but so worth the rewards!! If everyone could contribute, it will make a difference. If ALL humanity could just stop and think about the things that really matter--not materialistic things, we can have a fighting chance. Compassion for all living beings and to appreciate "LIFE" in general, would be a great starting point. Thanks Michela & Thanks Beth for this post!~ PS-----PLEASE check out; "Orangutans: Men Of The Forest," group---THIS is HIGHLY recommended to show your compassion for animals!~~~

1:26PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

I hope we can but I doubt it.

5:42PM PST on Jan 18, 2013

Is it just me or do anyone else see the contradiction in holding the gathering of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Japan?

The Japanese continue to hunt wales, they kill dolphins (search for "The Cove") and they have a "tradition" of eating LIVE seafood!

I PERSONALLY believe that eating seafood is far crueller than eating meat.

4:33PM PST on Jan 18, 2013

I hope we can, but I don't know. So many don't "believe" in it. Looks like they'll have to acknowledge soon, right?

2:48AM PDT on May 4, 2012

I believe that these principles are known to any person who has a minimum of responsibility.
The work should be done that would not be so huge, if you were to have to deal with the IGNORANCE of man and the great ECONOMIC POWER of the LOBBY, these two cancers are very difficult to treat.
I hope that new generations can understand the seriousness of this condition and make a big change of direction

8:04PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

We all have to take a stand now... it is time to save our planet but we can't do it alone... it will take every one of us!

5:03PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

we can do it, but we have to educate those who don't know or understand, unfortunately there are too many "ME NOW" people who can only make changes if they see it benefiting themselves and asap....we have to be able to look forward and make changes that will help others...including non-humans and unborn persons who we will never meet and know....a difficult concept....

8:31AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

We have to..We can...But we have to work hard..

11:59AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

YES we can it is a choice each & every one of us can make. Be the change you wish to see in this world! it starts with YOU!

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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