It has been estimated that 31 per cent of the world’s 430 types of oak are threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species. And 41 per cent are of conservation concern, mainly due to deforestation for agriculture and fuel for cooking.
birds facing extinction
Giraffes, parrots, and oak trees
have been listed among the one million species of animals and trees that are
facing extinction, according to a report from the Intergovernmental
Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services-IPBES, an
independent body supported by the United Nations.
The world’s trees are threatened
by various sources, including logging, deforestation for industry and
agriculture, firewood for heating and cooking, and climate-related threats such
It has been estimated that 31 per
cent of the world’s 430 types of oak are threatened with extinction, according
to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of
threatened species. And 41 per cent are of conservation concern, mainly due to
deforestation for agriculture and fuel for cooking.
Giraffes are targeted for their
meat, and suffer from the degradation of their habitat due to unsustainable
wood harvesting, and increased demand for agricultural land; it’s estimated
there are only around 600 giraffes left in the wild.
Also threatened are cacti and
seaweed, one of the planet’s great survivors, which can be traced back some 1.6
billion years. Seaweed plays a vital role in marine ecosystems, providing
habitats and food for marine lifeforms, while large varieties – such as kelp –
act as underwater nurseries for fish.
However, mechanical dredging,
rising sea temperatures and the building of coastal infrastructure are contributing
to the decline of the species and environmental experts say that the current biodiversity
crisis will be exacerbated, with catastrophic results for humanity, unless
humans interact with nature in a more sustainable way.
Currently, governments around the
world spend more than USD 500 billion every year in ways that harm biodiversity
to support industries like fossil fuels, agriculture, and fisheries. Experts
say these funds should be repurposed to incentivize regenerative agriculture,
sustainable food systems, and nature-positive.
“Sustainable use is when
biodiversity and ecosystem functioning are maintained while contributing to
human well-being. By continuing to use these resources unsustainably, we are
not just risking the loss and damage of these species’ populations; we are
affecting our own health and well-being and that of the next generation.
“The IPBES report makes it
abundantly clear that wild species are an indispensable source of food, shelter
and income for hundreds of millions around the world,” says Susan Gardner,
Director of the Ecosystems Division at the United Nations Environment Programme
The report, a result of four years of work by 85 experts from the natural
and social sciences, and holders of indigenous and local knowledge, as
well as 200 contributing authors, illustrates the
importance of indigenous people being able to secure tenure rights over their
land, as they have long understood the value of wild species and have learned
how to use them sustainably.
of the kinds of
transformative changes that are needed to reduce biodiversity loss
include equitable distribution of costs and benefits, changes in social
effective governance systems.