Humans are given the power to influence nature. However, instead of maintaining its beauty we ruin it. Over one million fauna and flora species are at risk of extinction. As time goes by, we lose more and more plant and animal species and the ecosystem becomes even more unbalanced. Why should this bother us? Well, our very existence depends on the ecosystem.
The United Nations released a 1500 page report on the worldwide decline of biodiversity. This report was a combined effort of the world’s most prominent scientists and many studies. A summary of its conclusions was released on Monday, and the full report will be made public later this year.
The news is not good. Many of the worlds areas are losing wildlife at a drastic rate. Due to human activities such as farming and mining, many of our planet’s natural wilderness is being destroyed. Global warming plays another major factor.
In some areas, wildlife population has dropped by over 20%! This damage is projected to continue or even accelerate if we stand by and do nothing.
While our current lifestyle might seem sustainable in the short-term, our increased population and food consumption is leading to deforestation and irreparable damage to our environment.
Critical wildlife populations are being driven to extinction, such as wild bees that pollinate plants and reefs that protect the land from flooding.
According to the report, over 680 wildlife species have been driven to extinction over the past 500 years. In addition there are many more species that have not been discovered or properly documented that may also be at risk of extinction. While it’s difficult to make accurate predictions, there is no doubt that extinction rates are catastrophically high.
We need to rise up together and stop this destruction. If nothing is done, it’s quite possible that the world as we know it today will cease to exist. Half of a million land species already lack the natural habitats to survive. As we continue to raze their homes in the pursuit of short-term prosperity, we cause irrevocable damage to the planet we call our home.
According to the report, humans have impacted over 75% of the world’s land areas and destroyed 85% of the planet’s wetlands.
The increased extinction rate has serious ramifications- not just for the beauty and variety for our planet, but for our very existence. We rely on these species for a varied and balanced food system. As we are forced into depending on fewer species, we become much more vulnerable to local threats.
Studies have shown that governments have the power to slow or even prevent extinction when they put their mind to it. We need to raise awareness and stop this devastation before it’s too late!
As of now, some strides have been made to protecting our environment. However, while a step in the right direction, this is nowhere near enough to reverse the deadly path we have set ourselves upon. Prohibitions against illegal logging or fishing are inadequately enforced, and many people are unaware of the impact their destructive actions have.