Friday, May 16, 2008

Biodiversity loss puts people at risk

Science Daily: Future generations face hunger, thirst, disease and disaster if we carry on losing biodiversity. And as biodiversity plummets our use of resources soars - WWF now estimates that biodiversity has declined by more than a quarter in the last 35 years.

The stark warning comes as WWF launches its 2010 and Beyond: Rising to the Biodiversity Challenge report which contains the latest Living Planet index – the internationally agreed way to measure progress towards the global target of reducing biodiversity loss by 2010– and which reveals a continuing decline in biodiversity.

Food, clean water, medicines and protection from natural hazards are important ingredients in maintaining our security and quality of life. If they are to be maintained then the species, natural habitats and ecosystems that support them need to be protected. In 2002 the world’s governments set themselves a target to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, but WWF’s report shows that they are clearly not on track.

“Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives. Put simply, reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease and where water is in irregular or short supply,” said James Leape, WWF International’s Director General.

“No one can escape the impact of biodiversity loss because reduced global diversity translates quite clearly into fewer new medicines, greater vulnerability to natural disasters and greater effects from global warming.”….

Destroyed forest in Góry Sowie, Sudety, Poland, by "vindicator," Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2

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