If you’ve been anywhere near the internet or a TV over the last 24 hours then you’ve probably seen the news that Harry and Meghan Markle have had their long awaited baby. What you may not have read was the UN report proving that around 1 million plants and animals now face extinction due to humans.
(Source: Instagram @natgeo)
Around the time that news was breaking of Meghan and Harry’s child’s birth, the UN published a report which implies that the world should be on alert about the possibility of around a million species of animals and plants going extinct in 10-20 years.
The UN website states: ‘This [study] suggests that around one million species “already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss”.’
The study features work from around 400 biodiversity experts worldwide from at least 50 different countries. However, as opposed to taking the world by storm, this report seems to have fallen by the wayside in comparison to the news of Harry and Meghan’s first child being born. Now, I’m completely excited about the birth of the new baby, but the findings in the UN report are too horrific to not be heeded as we’re at risk of losing a million species of wildlife – and not enough people seem to know.
Some papers have thankfully given the news the coverage it deserves prompting this tweet from @Team4Nature:
Now, obviously this isn’t the fault of the royal couple, or their baby, it’s just bad timing; but, it’s unbelievable that this report isn’t getting the traction it deserves simply due to unfortunate timing.
We shouldn’t allow our excitement surrounding the royal baby overshadow something so pertinent to not only our generation, but generations to come as global extinction rate ‘is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years’.
Thankfully, some leaders in the field have claimed that it’s not too late to change the state of affairs, with Sir Robert Watson claiming, ‘it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global’.
This would mean not only each and every person cutting down on energy expenditure by walking and cycling more but also for governments to issue nationwide laws which would protect ecosystems and minimize overall energy usage.
According to the IPBES report: “Shrinking habitat, exploitation of natural resources, climate change and pollution are the main drivers of species loss and are threatening more than 40% of amphibians, 33% of coral reefs and over a third of all marine mammals with extinction”.
I can’t freakin’ believe that so many living species are under threat of extinction and governing bodies aren’t taking more immediate action to move towards preventing this on a worldwide scale!
If the world doesn’t heed the warnings of this report, then we risk irrevocably damaging this planet on a truly terrible scale, so it’s crucial to remember that negative planetary change is happening now, and that as exciting as the royal baby news is, that child will have little to no planet left to marvel at if changes aren’t made today.