Scientific assessments by Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) confirm need for imperative actions to safeguard life on Earth

Heritage Stewardship – Biodiversity

Scientific assessments by Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) confirm need for imperative actions to safeguard life on Earth
:: Reports shows that biodiversity continues to decline in every region of the world
:: Loss of biodiversity undermines nature’s ability to ensure quality of life everywhere
:: Actions to safeguard biodiversity are being undertaken, but more needed
:: IPBES regional assessment reports are a central part of the knowledge base for biodiversity policy at national and international levels.

23 March 2018 – Landmark regional scientific reports were issued today in Colombia on the status of biodiversity in the following regions of the world: the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa as well as Europe and Central Asia. They show that pressures on biodiversity and resulting loss of biodiversity continue to increase in all of the regions. If unchecked, such loss will affect the ability of nature to support people and planet.

The regional assessments by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) show that the main pressures on biodiversity continue to be habitat change, climate change, invasive alien species, pollution and unsustainable use. However the relative importance of each of these pressures varies between the regions. These declines are of concern also because of the essential role biodiversity plays in providing for people, including, food, fuel and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

In all of the regions it is noted that actions have been taken to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. However, it is also noted that these actions have, for the most part, been insufficient. It is further observed that while various plans and strategies have been developed for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity these have not generally been translated into actions.

These reports confirm the conclusions of work done under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and suggest directions for additional urgent actions to achieve global biodiversity targets.

The landmark science reports were approved by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in Medellín, Colombia, at the 6th session of its Plenary on 22 March and released today. Written by more than 550 leading experts from over 100 countries, they are the result of three years of work, and include inputs from experts at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The four regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services cover the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, as well as Europe and Central Asia.

Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, CBD Executive Secretary, said: “These assessments are sobering. They show that the pressures on biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services from human activities, including climate change, are increasing. They show that the status of biodiversity is decreasing. They show that while the world is taking actions, more needs to be done to halt the loss of biodiversity.”

“These regional assessment reports help us understand variations across the regions of the world. However, if the current trends on biodiversity loss and ecosystems destruction are not reversed, the prospects for life on our planet become quite grim. At the current rate of destruction not only will it be difficult to safeguard life on Earth, but will jeopardize the prospects for human development and well-being. We need a paradigm shift in the way humans interact with nature; we need transformative change and a systemic approach to address the root causes of biological destruction.”…