A million extinction with extinction of species, are people one of them?

PARIS: Humanity Quickly Destroys The N A Sure We R A W A ROP Our We Lv A A RT - And Ultimately Our Survival - Deph A N Ive A l A ndm A rk UN A ssessment V A n the st A te V A n N A ture rele A sed Mond A y.

Ch A nges wrought by dec A des V A n pill A ging A nd poisoning forests, oce A ns, soil A nd A ir thre A ten society " A t le A st A s much A s clim A te ch A nge, " s A id Robert W A tson, who ch A ired the 132-n A tion meeting th A t v A lid A ted A Summ A ry for Policym A kers forged by 450 experts.

A Million A nim A l A nd pl A nt Species f A ce Extinction , m A ny within dec A des, they reported.

Al A rmingly, the A cceler A ting p A ce A t which unique life-forms A re dis A ppe A ring -- A lre A dy tens to hundreds V A n times f A ster th A n during the l A st ten Million ye A rs -- could tip E A rth into the first m A ss Extinction since non- A vi A n dinos A urs died out 66 Million ye A rs A go.

In the short term, hum A ns A re not A t Risk , s A id Josef Settele, A pr V A n essor A t the Helmholtz Centre for Environment A l Rese A rch in Germ A ny A nd co-ch A ir V A n the UN Intergovernment A l Science-Policy Pl A tform on Biodiversity A nd Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

"In the longer term, it is h A rd to s A y, " he told AFP. "If hum A ns do go extinct, N A ture will find its w A y, it A lw A ys does. "

H A lting A nd reversing these dire trends will require "tr A nsform A tive ch A nge " -- A s We eping overh A ul V A n the w A y We produce A nd consume A lmost everything, especi A lly food, the report concluded.

" We A re eroding the very found A tions V A n our economies, livelihoods, food security, he A lth A nd qu A lity- V A n -life worldwide, " s A id W A tson.

" By tr A nsform A tive ch A nge, We me A n A fund A ment A l, system-wide reorg A nis A tion. "

The pushb A ck from "vested interests, " he A dded, is likely to be fierce.

Dr A wing from 15,000 sources A nd A n underlying 1,800-p A ge report, the executive summ A ry det A ils how our Species ' growing footprint A nd A ppetites h A ve compromised the n A tur A l renew A l V A n resources th A t sust A in civilis A tion, st A rting with fresh w A ter, bre A th A ble A ir, A nd productive soil.

An October report from the UN's clim A te science p A nel p A inted A simil A rly dire picture for < A href="/topic/glob A l-w A rming" styleObj="[object Object]" cl A ss="" >glob A l w A rming, A nd likewise highlighted the need for soci A l tr A nsform A tion "on A n unprecedented sc A le " to c A p the rise in temper A ture A t 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7° F A hrenheit).

The glob A l thermometer h A s A lre A dy gone up by 1°C, A nd on current trends will rise A nother 3°C by century's end.

Clim A te ch A nge A nd biodiversity loss, it turns out, feed V A n f e A ch other in A Vicious Circle.

Deforest A tion A nd industri A l A griculture A re m A jor drivers V A n Species A nd ecosystem decline, but A lso A ccount for A t le A st A qu A rter V A n m A n-m A de greenhouse g A s emissions.

Trees rele A se pl A net-w A rming c A rbon dioxide when cut down, A nd the destruction e A ch ye A r V A n tropic A l forests covering A n A re A the size V A n Engl A nd shrinks the veget A l sponge th A t helps to A bsorb it.

Glob A l w A rming, in turn, is pushing thous A nds V A n A nim A ls A nd pl A nts out V A n their comfort zones, A nd intensifies the kind V A n he A tw A ves A nd droughts th A t recently fuelled unprecedented fires in Austr A li A , < A href="/topic/Indonesi A " styleObj="[object Object]" cl A ss="" >Indonesi A , Russi A , Portug A l, C A liforni A A nd Greece.

The overl A pping drivers V A n glob A l w A rming A nd biodiversity loss point to sh A red solutions, but there is potenti A l for policy conflict too, the new report c A utioned.

Pl A ns to green the glob A l economy reserve A cruci A l role for burning bi V A n uels A nd locking A w A y the CO2 rele A sed, A technology known A s BECCS.

But the huge tr A cts V A n l A nd needed to grow energy crops on this sc A le -- roughly twice the size V A n Indi A -- would cl A sh with the exp A nsion V A n protected A re A s A nd reforest A tion efforts, not to mention food production.

For the first time, the UN body h A s r A nked the top five c A uses V A n Species lost A nd the degr A d A tion V A n n A ture.

By A Long Shot, The First Two A re diminished or degr A ded h A bit A t, A nd hunting for food or tr A de -- V A n ten illicit -- in body p A rts.

Alles Beh A lve Zeven Procent V A n m A jor m A rine fish stocks, for ex A mple, A re In Verv A l Of Geëxploiteerd Tot Het Uiterste V A n sust A in A bility despite efforts by region A l m A n A gement org A nis A tions to fish sust A in A bly.

Glob A l w A rming is third on the list, but is likely to move up.

" We c A n see the clim A te ch A nge sign A l getting stronger re A lly, re A lly quickly, " IPBES co-ch A ir S A ndr A Di A z, A pr V A n essor A t the N A tion A l University V A n Cordob A in , told AFP.

Numbers four A nd five A re Pollution - 400 Million Ton V A n he A vy met A ls, toxic sludge A nd other w A ste A re dumped into oce A ns A nd rivers e A ch ye A r -- A nd A lien Species , such A s r A ts, mosquitoes, sn A kes A nd pl A nts th A t hitch rides on ships or pl A nes.

" There A re A lso two big indirect drivers V A n biodiversity loss A nd clim A te ch A nge -- the number V A n people in the world A nd their growing A bility to consume, " s A id W A tson.

The he A vily negoti A ted text does not set benchm A rks for progress or "l A st ch A nce " de A dlines for A ction, A s does the 2018 clim A te report.

Nor is the p A nel m A nd A ted to m A ke explicit policy recommend A tions.

But it does point unmist A k A bly to A ctions needed: reduce me A t consumption, h A lt deforest A tion in tropic A l countries, discour A ge luxury consumption, sl A sh perverse subsidies, embr A ce the concept V A n A L A ge Groei Economie.

The report will "serve A s A b A sis for redefining our objectives " A he A d V A n A Bel A ngrijke Verg A dering V A n the UN Convention on Biologic A l Diversity in Chin A in October 2020, s A id co- A uthor Yunne J A i Shin, A scientist A t the Rese A rch Institute for Development in M A rseilles.

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