Humans are destroying the natural world at an alarming and unsustainable rate, according to four landmark U.N. reports presented at a meeting of scientists in Medellín, Colombia, on Friday.
This devastation and the decline of biodiversity—the variety of plant and animal life—is so severe, that it is endangering economies, livelihoods, food security, access to drinking water, and the general quality of life of people around the world.
The reports—which were the result of three years of work and involved more than 550 leading experts from more than 100 countries—assessed biodiversity and ecosystems in four regions: the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe-Central Asia. They were approved by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
In a world with a booming population that is consuming ever more resources—from food to water—the exploitation of the natural world has become normalized in order to meet demand. But the new research indicates that no region is faring well as a result.
Across the world, habitats are being destroyed, the oceans are being polluted, water sources are running dry and many animal species are dwindling. And in the coming years, climate change will only put more pressure on the world’s biodiversity, scientists noted in the reports.
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SOURCE: Newsweek, Aristos Georgiou