Top UN panel paints bleak picture of world’s ecosystems

Scientists call on intergovernmental biodiversity body to boost influence and shift focus to policy development.

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Biodiversity is vanishing at an alarming rate across most of the world, find the most comprehensive assessments of global ecosystem health to be done in decades. The five reports, published on 23 March, are the culmination of three years’ work by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) — a global science body set up under the United Nations in 2012 to track the planet’s ecological health. The assessments examined biodiversity loss in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. IPBES reports that, of the species it assessed in Europe and Central Asia, 28% are threatened with extinction. Climate change is set to cause the loss of more than half of Africa’s bird and mammal species by 2100.

By Natasha Gilbert, Nature News


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