A MILLION species of wildlife are at risk of extinction because of human activity, scientists are expected to warn today.
A major new UN report on the state of nature will compare it to the threat from climate change.
WWF The last rhino in Vietnam is shown in Cat Tien National Park after poachers apparently killed the country’s others for their horns
The global assessment, the first such report since 2005 and the most comprehensive of its kind, urges swift action.
The damage to nature, and the vital services it provides including food, pollination and clean water, poses a critical threat to human well-being, it will say.
The report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has taken three years to complete.
It draws on thousands of pieces of scientific evidence and government information and has been prepared by 150 leading experts from 50 countries.
Getty – Contributor The Asian elephant is among the million species which could face extinction due to climate change
The assessment looks at the causes of wildlife loss, its impacts on people and how it affects efforts to reduce poverty and tackle climate change.
It will be published today after governments and experts approved the assessment.
Sir Robert Watson, leading British scientist and chairman of the IPBES, said the evidence of the problem was “incontestable”.
He added: “Our destruction of biodiversity and ecosystem services has reached levels that threaten our well-being at least as much as human-induced climate change.”
Rex Features Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven is urging governments and corporations to start a process that enables humans to live alongside nature
And he warned of a “closing window of opportunity to act and narrowing options” for protecting nature and securing a more sustainable future.
It is hoped that the report, like the UN’s major climate change studies, will prompt global action to protect wildlife and habitats around the world.
The study will be used as the basis for negotiations on new targets to tackle wildlife losses from 2020.
Environmental group WWF is calling for the creation of a new “global deal for nature and people”, similar to the Paris Agreement.
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Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven said: “This report is set to be an urgent wake-up call for governments and corporations to stop turning our land into a chemically intensive monoculture and start a process that enables us to live alongside nature.
“The UK government urgently needs to play its part by restoring our peatlands, planting millions of trees, providing ocean sanctuaries around our coast and supporting a shift from meat and dairy to healthy, plant-based meals.”
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