The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Monday, 21 October

Armageddon On Notice Says UNESCO

The Splendid Leaf frog from Ecuador

Monday May 6 saw a UN biodiversity report state that nearly one million species are at risk of becoming extinct because of human actions while current efforts to conserve the earth’s resources will likely fail.

Speaking in Paris at the launch of the Global Assessment study – the first such report since 2005 – UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that its findings put the world on notice. She said: “Following the adoption of this historic report, no one will be able to claim that they did not know,

“We can no longer continue to destroy the diversity of life. This is our responsibility towards future generations.”

Highlighting the universal importance of biodiversity, Azoulay said that protecting it 'is as vital as fighting climate change'.

 

IPBES

Presented to more than 130 government delegations for their approval at UNESCO headquarters, the report features 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 report also examines five main drivers of unprecedented biodiversity and ecosystem change over the past 50 years, identifying them as changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change, pollution, and invasion of alien species.

 

One in four species at risk of extinction

On at-risk fauna and flora, the study asserts that human activities 'threaten more species now than ever before' – a finding based on the fact that around 25 per cent of species in plant and animal groups are vulnerable.

This suggests that around one million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss.

Without such measures there will be a further acceleration in the global rate of species extinction, which is already 'at least tens to hundreds of times higher, than it has averaged over the past 10 million years', the report states.

 

Domesticated breeds

The report notes that despite many local efforts, including by indigenous peoples and local communities, by 2016, 559 of the 6,190 domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture were extinct – around nine per cent of the total - and at least 1,000 more are threatened.

 

Crop security

In addition, many wild relatives of traditional crops that are needed for long-term food security 'lack effective protection', the report insists, while the status of wild relatives of domesticated mammals and birds 'is worsening'.

 

Reductions in the diversity of cultivated crops, wild crop relatives and domesticated breeds mean that farming will likely be less resilient against future climate change, pests and pathogens.

 

'While more food, energy and materials than ever before are now being supplied to people in most places, this is increasingly at the expense of nature’s ability to provide such contributions in the future', the report states, before adding that 'the biosphere, upon which humanity as a whole depends…is declining faster than at any time in human history'.

Picture: The Splendid Leaf frog from Ecuador.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

Share



Related Articles

Value The Planet - RICS Urges Industry To Be Accountable

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have launched a ‘Value the Planet’ campaign, promoting the preservation of the planet through the adoption of the...

 Read Full Article
Powering The People To Reclaim Our Blue Planet

Sir David Attenborough has launched a United Nations campaign enabling individuals the world over to unite in actions to battle climate change. Attenborough was in...

 Read Full Article
Historic Day for Climate Undermined by Lack of Big-boy Action

As 175 world leaders signed the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Headquarters on April 22 and over the weekend, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the next critical...

 Read Full Article
AI To Predict And Control Buildings' Energy Demands

BP has expanded its digital energy portfolio by investing in energy management platform, Grid Edge - AI technology predicts, optimises and controls a building’s...

 Read Full Article
£300 Billion AUM - 23 Sign Climate Change Commitment

23 leading commercial property owners have signed a groundbreaking commitment to tackle the growing risks of climate change through the delivery of net zero carbon real...

 Read Full Article
87 Major Companies Lead Way At Climate Action Summit

Companies with a combined market capitalisation of over US$2.3 trillion and annual direct emissions equivalent to 73 coal-fired power plants are taking action to align...

 Read Full Article
Net Zero Carbon Buildings 60+ Signatories Achieved

The World Green Building Council has marked its 10th annual Word Green Building Week with new additions to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, signalling global...

 Read Full Article
The Challenge Of Sustainable Development Report

A new report to support public sector bodies to implement sustainable development principles has been published by the Health and Sustainability Hub and Research and...

 Read Full Article
Friday Youth Climate Protest Could Turn Ugly

The Metropolitan Police Force is so concerned that a protest in London on Friday September 20 could descend into riots and property invasion/damage, they have issued a...

 Read Full Article
Recycle Week

September 23-29 is Recycle Week with the theme  Recycling - It’s In Our Own Hands. The organisers state that 2018 was the year that Britain woke up to...

 Read Full Article