Monday, January 11, 2010

Biodiversity loss is 'wake-up call', warns UN

Richard Black in Common Dreams via BBC News: The UN launches the International Year of Biodiversity on Monday, warning that the ongoing loss of species affects human well-being around the world. Eight years ago, governments pledged to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, but the pledge will not be met. The expansion of human cities, farming and infrastructure is the main reason.

Dignitaries including German premier Angela Merkel will speak at the launch in Berlin, with a video message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr Ban is due to say that human expansion is wiping out species at about 1,000 times the "natural" or "background" rate, and that "business as usual is not an option". The Secretary-General is expected to argue that the failure to protect biodiversity "should be a wake-up call", leading to effective ways of protecting forests, watersheds, coral reefs and other ecosystems.

The UN says that as natural systems such as forests and wetlands disappear, humanity loses the services they currently provide for free, such as the purification of air and water, protection from extreme weather events and the provision of materials for shelter and fire. The rate of species loss leads some biologists to say that we are in the middle of the Earth's sixth great extinction, the previous five stemming from natural events such as asteroid impacts….

The Leopard Lacewing Cethosia cyane is a species of heliconiinae butterfly found in South Asia. Shot by Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak MFB.jpg, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice story you got here. It would be great to read a bit more concerning that theme. The only thing I would like to see here is a few pics of any devices.
Kate Stepman
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