Facts and figures on biodiversity and ecosystem services

The neutral ones …

  • 80 per cent of all species world-wide live on just 20 per cent of the Earth’s surface.
  • Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of biodiversity.
  • More than two billion people rely on wood fuel to meet their primary energy needs.
  • More than 75 per cent of global food crop types, including fruits and vegetables and some of the most important cash crops, rely on animal pollination.
  • Over half of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is highly dependent on nature and its services.
  • About a third of the GDP in India and Indonesia and 23 per cent of the GDP in African countries is generated in nature-dependent sectors.
  • 25 per cent of drugs used in modern medicine are derived from rainforest plants.
  • At least a quarter of the global land area is traditionally owned, managed, used or occupied by indigenous peoples. These areas include approximately 35 per cent of the area that is formally protected, and around 35 per cent of all remaining terrestrial areas with very low human intervention.
  • The conserving of 30 per cent of the planet’s land and sea would cost 140 billion US dollars, which is equivalent to 0.16 per cent of global GDP.
  • Protected areas store 20 per cent of terrestrially sequestered carbon.
  • World-wide, around 85 billion US dollars is spent annually on the conservation of biological diversity.
  • Oceans produce 50 per cent of our oxygen and absorb more than 90 per cent of greenhouse gas heat.

The worrying ones …

  • World-wide, out of an estimated eight million animal and plant species, one million are threatened with extinction.
  • 75 per cent of terrestrial ecosystems and 40 per cent of marine ecosystems have already suffered severe anthropogenic changes.
  • Since 1990, world-wide, 420 million hectares of forest area has gone lost.
  • Each year, human activities cause the destruction of around 13 million hectares of forest.
  • Each year, the world loses 6.3 trillion US dollars worth of ecological services through forest and land degradation.
  • Loss of pollinators threatens global crop outputs worth between 235 and 577 billion US dollars annually.
  • Maintaining current living standards would require 1.6 Earths.
  • 33 per cent of all fish stocks are overfished.

The promising ones …

  • The rate of deforestation has been reduced by around a third compared to the previous decade.
  • Between 2000 and 2020, terrestrial areas under protection grew from 10 to over 16 per cent, marine protected areas rose from 3 to over 7 per cent, and the conservation of key biodiversity areas grew from 29 to 44 per cent.
  • The Nagoya Protocol, which regulates access to genetic resources and a balanced and fair sharing of the advantages resulting from their use, is being applied in at least 87 countries.
  • International financing of biodiversity conservation doubled between 2010 and 2020.
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