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One million species threatened with extinction because of humans

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Christian Fernsby |
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World   This loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes a direct threat

One in eight of all Earth's plants, insects and animals are at risk of extinction, many within decades, because of human activity, a huge coalition of the world's leading scientists announced.


An "unprecedented" one million species will die out because of the relentless pursuit of economic growth, coupled with climate change, said a report published on Monday by the UN's Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

"This loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes a direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world," said Professor Josef Settele, who co-chaired the study put together by 145 scientists from 50 countries examining about 15,000 scientific and government sources.

The IPBES Global Assessment report is a landmark study that adds to a growing scientific consensus on the need for fundamental, radical societal action to save the planet and all life upon it.

Only a complete overhaul of global economic and financial systems could pull ecosystems vital to the future of human communities back from the brink of collapse, concluded the report, which was endorsed by 130 countries, including the United States, Russia and China.

Industrial scale farming and fishing were key drivers of a sudden acceleration in extinction risk, the authors said.


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