About a million animal and plant species face extinction, many of them within decades, because of human intervention, according to a UN report on biodiversity.
The report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform n Biodiversity and Eco System Services (IPBES) says that nature is declining at a fast pace, unprecedented in human history and the extinction of species is at an alarming rate. It says that the average abundance of native species has fallen by at least 20 per cent.
According to the report, 40 per cent of amphibians and more than a third of the marine mammals are at the verge of extinction. With respect to insects, the report says ten percent of the species are under threat. It also says that about 680 vertebrates have fallen to extinction since the 16th century.
The report notes that local breeds and varieties of domestic animals and plants, wild populations and ecosystem are all shrinking or vanishing at a fast pace. Noting that it is not yet late to reverse the mechanism, IPBES chief Sir Robert Watson says that nature can be restored and conserved through transformative change.
The researchers says that climate change, direct exploitation of the species, changes in sea and land usage, invasive alien species and pollution has led to the drastic rate of extinction of the species.
Other findings in the report
More than a third of the land mass and 75 per cent of fresh water bodies are used for crop and livestock production.
Land degradation has led to 23 per cent decrease of its productivity.
Fish stocks harvested at unsustainable levels.
Plastic production increase at an alarming level