Hawksbill turtle floats in an Indian Ocean coral reef, Maldives.
Photo: Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock.com

08.05.2019

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Despite progress to conserve nature and implement policies, global goals for conserving and sustainably using nature and achieving sustainability cannot be met by current trajectories, according to this report. Negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine progress towards 80 per cent of the assessed targets of SDGs.

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, according to the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in early May 2019. The full six-chapter Report (including all data) is expected exceed 1,500 pages and will be published later this year.

Compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries over the past three years, with inputs from another 310 contributing authors, the report assesses changes over the past five decades, providing a comprehensive picture of the relationship between economic development pathways and their impacts on nature. It also offers a range of possible scenarios for the coming decades.

Based on the systematic review of about 15,000 scientific and government sources, the report also draws on indigenous and local knowledge, particularly addressing issues relevant to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.

One million species are threatened with extinction

The report finds that around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history.

The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20 per cent, mostly since 1900.

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