Biodiversity Degradation: 1 million animal and plant species may be extinct soon

12:32 PM

Biodiversity Degradation

At least a million out of the eight million animal and plant species may be extinct soon, all because of the steady decline of nature at a global scale. This extinction can only be stopped if at all their habitats are being restored, says a report released in Paris by the inter-governmental body, backed by the UN.

The body blames human activities for such incidences and states that 75 percent of land’s surface has already been altered by us humans, along with 40 percent of marine life, and 50 percent of inland waterways. Due to this, immense damage to nature has been done via urbanization, deforestation as well as agricultural intensification.

There has been a 300 percent increase in food production since 1970. There have been around 1000 journalists as well as green activists regarding environmental problems which have been canned. Plastic Pollution has increased by at least 10 times since 1980. The average global sea level rise has been around 16 to 20 cm since the year 1900.

Greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 100 percent resulting in global temperatures to increase by 0.7 degree. At least 300-400 million tons of metals, industrial waste, toxic sludge, solvents are dumped in the waters globally every year. This has resulted in 400 ocean "dead zones", which is 2,45,000 sq. km, a total area bigger than the UK.

There has been a lot of change in land and sea use which is the biggest problem. Along with this, organisms are being exploited directly. Climate Change as well as Pollution are other major issues. Natural resources are being pressured due to which conflicts related to fossil fuels, water, food and land are occurring.

In India, Himalayan region, Indus Basin, Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and Western Ghats are suffering in terms of biodiversity spots damage. Sustainable practices can help change the situation for good. The report has also focused on indigenous and local knowledge along with roles of indigenous and local communities in protecting biodiversity.

It stated that since 1900, native species in land-based habitats have declined by 20 percent. Also, over 40 percent amphibian species, 33 percent corals that are reef forming and a third of marine mammals are under threat.

A minimum of 680 vertebrate species had become extinct since the 16th century. Over 9 percent of the domesticated mammals used for food and agriculture suffered extinction by 2016, and around 1,000 breeds still threatened.

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