UNESCO issues major new warning

The Earth’s resources will face failure without radical action, and nearly one million species risk extinction within decades, UN biodiversity report has predicted.

Launching the first such report since 2005 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) director-general Audrey Azoulay said that its findings put the world “on notice” and warned that there could be no defence of ignorance: “Following the adoption of this historic report, no one will be able to claim that they did not know.”

Presented to more than 130 government delegations at UNESCO headquarters, the report is based on the work of 400 experts from at least 50 countries, coordinated by the Bonn-based Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

In addition to providing exhaustive insights on the state of nature, ecosystems and how nature underpins all human activity, the study also discusses progress on key international goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“The loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is already a global and generational threat to human well-being,” insisted Sir Robert Watson, IPBES chair. “Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge of decades to come. Policies, efforts and actions - at every level - will only succeed, however, when based on the best knowledge and evidence.”

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